Polish parliament condemns Belarusian policy on minority group

Poland's MPs adopted on Wednesday a special resolution condemning Belarus' policies toward a Polish minority group in connection with a property dispute.

A court outside Minsk ruled that the Polish House in Ivenets, located some 60 miles west of the Belarusian capital and claimed by the Belarusian authorities, remain in the ownership of the official Union of Poles in Belarus. The building was seized by the authorities last week.

The Union of Poles in Belarus was established in 1990 to unite Polish culture and education societies in Belarus. After the Union split in 2005, the part loyal to the government in Minsk was officially recognized, while the unrecognized wing, led by Anzhelika Boris, went into opposition against the authorities.

Commenting on the parliament's decision, Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski said legislators had sought "to remind the Belarusian authorities that in some aspects Minsk should know that there will be a sharp resolute response and a return to the policy of sanctions against Belarus."

The speaker said Boris could visit Warsaw next week.

"We would like the meeting to enable the leader of the Polish minority in Belarus to speak out to make it clear what should the Polish state do, from the point of view of the people living there," Komorowski said.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski earlier invited Boris and other activists of the Union of Poles in Belarus to visit Warsaw.

Leonid Gulyako, Belarus' envoy for religions and nationalities, denied on Wednesday that the Belarusian government was interfering in the situation around the Polish House, which he said "has been and will remain in the ownership of the Union of Poles, regardless of who leads it."

Last Tuesday, Poland called its ambassador to Minsk back to Warsaw for consultations on the dispute.

WARSAW, February 17 (RIA Novosti)


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