With a large number of PMC Wagner Group mercenaries relocating to Belarus, NATO member states can expect major provocations on their borders on top of the ongoing illegal migrant influx, said former commander of Latvian National Armed Forces (NBS) Juris Maklakovs in an interview to LTV programme Rīta panorāma.
The expert thinks Wagner Group was sent from Russia to Belarus for a purpose, and mercenaries will have to “pay some price” for the attempted mutiny in Russia. This means there could be an escalation with provocations on the border.
Maklakovs is certain the situation will not escalate to the point when Wagner Group could attempt to invade any NATO member state.
“I don’t think these activities could turn out strong,” said the expert, adding that it is more likely there will be increased tension for border guards, because Wagner Forces are relatively small.
The former NBS commander stressed that Latvian armed forces are prepared to defend the country regardless.
As for the situation on the front in Ukraine, the Latvian expert said Ukrainian army isn’t counter-attacking as quickly as many would want, because Russian forces have created very strong defence lines. Maklakovs still believes Ukraine has and will continue having successes.
He mentioned that Russian forces, which are mostly focused on defence at the moment, are large and to overcome them Ukraine needs time and resources, including aircraft and ammo.
He added that in autumn it will be even more difficult to progress on the front, which means August, September and maybe October are left for any active attacks. After that warfare on the battlefield will quiet down.
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