Lukashenko meets Sikorski, denies problem with Poles in Belarus

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has told Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski that there is no problem with the Polish minority in Belarus.

The two had an unscheduled meeting on Thursday in Kiev and the Polish side had been hoping for a breakthrough that did not come.

That morning, Mr Sikorski had met with his Belarusian counterpart Sergei Martynov, requesting that authorities in Minsk should legalize both Polish organizations that operate there - including the group led by Andzelika Borys, which has been persecuted by the regime, and the sole government-recognized organization led by businessman Stanislaw Siemaszko.

The next step was to be the division of property between the two associations, after Belarusian courts recently handed the entire Polish House in Ivenets over to Mr Siemaszko's group, which has no relations with Polish authorities.

Minister Sikorski presented the same proposals to President Lukashenko, without reaching an agreement. After the meeting, Mr Lukashenko said "The Poles living in Belarus are my Poles, my voters and I will do everything to make their lives good."

When asked by one journalist about the arrest of workers from Ms Borys's organization, Mr Lukashenko initially replied, with apparent surprise, that nobody had gone to jail. "Well, maybe a few people, but they wanted to go, to show how bad things are here," he added.

Source: Dziennik Gazeta Prawna


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