Poland calls for free and fair elections in Belarus

Ahead of elections in Belarus next month, Poland's foreign minister has had talks with Belarusian opposition leader and presidential candidate Vladimir Neklayev.

Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, together with German diplomacy chief Guido Westerwelle paid a visit to Belarus earlier this month as EU envoys to encourage conducting fair elections. They discussed the matter with President Alexander Lukashenko and two other candidates.

Today, Radoslaw Sikorski explained that these talks, including Thursday's meeting in Warsaw, are a sign of concern in Warsaw over how democratic the elections will be on 19 December.

"We are neighbours of Belarus and we consider it a European country and we want it to comply with European standards. I would like Belarus to know that Poland feels solidarity with its people and if elections are fair, regardless of who turns out the victor, Poland will be a champion of Belarusian interests in Europe," Minister Sikorski declared.

The EU has offered to increase aid to the ex-Soviet nation in return for an improvement in its human rights record. (ss/pg)


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