The Polish foreign ministry's spokesman, Łukasz Jasina, told reporters on Thursday: “Given [Belarus strongman leader] Alexander Lukashenko’s long-running and continued policy towards Poland and the Polish people, we treat all his statements, even such as this one, with huge caution and we don’t assume goodwill."
Jasina added: “We are maintaining our advice to Polish citizens from a few months ago to avoid travel to Belarus.”
Belarus recently announced the lifting of visas for Poles from July 1 until the end of the year. Authorities said Lukashenko made the decision “to maintain good neighbourly relations,” Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Lithuania, Latvia advising against travel
In April, Belarus lifted visas for Lithuanians and Latvians, initially for a month, before extending the period until the end of the year. Both Vilnius and Riga responded by maintaining their advice against travel to Belarus.
Poland condemns 'vandalism' of memorial sites in Belarus
Meanwhile, Poland’s foreign ministry expressed concern about "a rise in vandalism" against Polish memorial sites in Belarus, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
The Polish foreign ministry said in a statement that the attacks happened mainly in Belarus’ western Grodno region, which hosts some 550 Polish burial sites.
The area used to be part of Poland before World War II and many Polish soldiers are buried there.
The Polish foreign ministry said "it firmly condemns the creation by Belarus authorities of an atmosphere of acquiescence to such practices."
It added that vandalism was aided by “an anti-Polish smear campaign” in the Belarusian media.
Poland also demanded that Belarus punish perpetrators, the PAP news agency reported.
Source: IAR, PAP, Reuters