Kaczynski concerned over worsening Polish-Belarus relations

President Lech Kaczynski met with the leader of the Union of Poles in Belarus Andzelika Borys (right) Monday, following her recent detention by Belarusian authorities in what she says is a campaign of intimidation against the Polish minority in the ex-Soviet country.

Borys heads the Union of Poles, an organisation not recognised by the Lukashenko regime, and which has been suffering from increasing harrassment from the Belarusian authorities.

President Kaczynski underlined that EU support and solidarity is vital in this case.

Lech Kaczynski also said that despite Warsaw's best efforts, Polish foreign policy - which has aimed to bring the country closer to the West - has failed and expressed the hope that the issue should be discussed at the highest levels in Brussels.

Andzelika Borys thanked the Polish head of state and reminded that the Unions of Poles in Belarus has been the object of repression in that country since 2005.

'We have been accused of activities aimed against President Lukashenka, now we are accused of being the main cause in the chilled relations between the EU and Belarus."

Tomorrow Andzelika Borys leaves for Brussels to meet with chairman of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek, as well as MEPs.

A week ago Belarussian militia detained 40 members of the Union of Poles, among them Andzelika Borys. Some were fined, some detained for five days.

The situation has led President Lech Kaczynski to address an official letter to Aleksander Lukashenko, expressing his concern and opposition against the growing repression against the members of the Union of Poles in Belarus.

EU foreign ministers in Brussels raised the problems of the Polish minority in Belarus at a meeting today. Poland asked for a discussion on the future of Union relations with Minsk. Poland's head of diplomacy Radoslaw Sikorski said it was important also for Belarus's future aspirations of closer ties with the European Union.

The EU's new head of diplomacy Catherine Ashton said today that actions taken against Polish minority are a step backward in relations between Minsk and the EU. However no concrete action have been taken at present by Brussels.


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