Parliament examines sour relations with Belarus

The Polish Parliament is discussing relations with Belarus, following the outbreak of a diplomatic war between Warsaw and Minsk. Poland has just told a deputy of the Belarusian ambassador to leave, in retaliation for the expulsion of a senior Polish diplomat from Minsk. The Polish foreign ministry announced a list of Belarusian citizens not allowed to enter Poland in return for the persecution of the Union of Poles in Belarus. The country's regime declared recent election of the union's officials null and void and ordered the reinstatement of the old leadership loyal to Lukashenko. The Union represents the 400,000 strong Polish minority and is the biggest civic organization in Belarus.

Polish foreign minister Adam Rotfeld said the recent decisions of the Belarusian authorities result from their fear of democratic transformations sweeping all countries in the region.

The Council of Europe Summit, which met in Warsaw earlier this week, called for democratic transformations in Belarus. With its poor human rights record, Minsk has little chance of joining this organization in the near future.