Belarusian opposition supports Union of Poles

Belarusian opposition parties have declared their support for the Union of Poles in Belarus headed by Andzelika Borys.

This organisation, which is not recognised by the authorities in Minsk, has suffered repressions for several months.

On Monday Belarusian police ousted members of the Polish minority from their headquarters in Ivyanets, near Minsk. Aleksander Milinkevich, former candidate to the Belarusian presidential post and leader of the "For Freedom" Social Movement, said that the actions of the Minsk authorities are anti-Polish and anti-democratic.

"This is an attempt to control all organisations, even non-governmental ones," Milinkevich said. "It is an act against Belarus because it harms the interest of this country on its tough road to Europe," he continued, adding that "it is a violation of international agreements signed by Belarus and a breach of this country's constitution."

The Polish Foreign Ministry has called Poland's Ambassador to Belarus, Henryk Litwin, for consultations in Warsaw after the incident and has also summoned the Belarusian ambassador resident in Warsaw for talks.

On Friday the heads of diplomacy from Poland and Belarus are to meet in Warsaw. One of the main issues on the agenda will be the actions taken against the Union of Poles in Belarus led by Andzelika Borys.

A court is to decide on 15 February who is the legal owner of the Polish cultural centre in Ivyanets.

The Union of Poles in Belarus represents a Polish minority amounting to around 400,000. In 2005, Lukashenko launched a campaign against the Poles, claiming that it was a "fifth column" trying to destabilise his regime.


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