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UPDATE: Poland is ‘open home’ for Belarusians who need help: PM

09.09.2020 13:02
Poland supports Belarusian groups that are fighting for a democratic, free and sovereign country, the Polish prime minister said after meeting opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Warsaw on Wednesday.
Audio
  • Poland is ‘open home’ for Belarusians who need help
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya meets Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw on Wednesday.
Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya meets Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki in Warsaw on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Mateusz Morawiecki told reporters: "Poland is an open home for all Belarusians who need help. As part of our Solidarity with Belarus programme we are helping those who have been repressed."

'Song of freedom'

He added Poland was "making efforts to support Belarusian groups which carry a song of freedom to Belarus, which are fighting for a democratic, free and sovereign Belarus."

Despite a brutal crackdown on protests by Belarus strongman Alexander Lukashenko, demonstrators have been taking to the streets of that country since an August 9 presidential election which the opposition says was rigged.


Photo:  PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

Morawiecki promised last month that his country would seek to support its eastern neighbour Belarus by opening its borders and labour market while providing financial support to civil society.

Warsaw is set to launch a programme making it easier for Belarusian entrepreneurs to relocate to Poland, state news agency PAP reported.

After talks at the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday, Morawiecki and Tsikhanouskaya met members of the Belarusian minority in Poland at a new Belarusian Centre in Warsaw.

Morawiecki said that all protestors who had been beaten during demonstrations in Belarus have the opportunity of receiving help in Poland, adding that many were already undergoing medical treatment in his country, state news agency PAP reported.

'Illegal president'

Tsikhanouskaya said that for Belarusians, Lukashenko was no longer a legitimate leader.

She called him an “illegal president” who had issued orders for defenceless citizens to be shot at.

Over 10,000 people have been detained in Belarus since protests broke out, she added.

In a speech at the University of Warsaw, Tsikhanouskaya called for new elections in her country.

'The point of no return has passed'

She said: “We are in the middle of our fight. Our protests, they are not going to fade out. The point of no return has passed.”

Tsikhanouskaya is on Thursday expected to attend an international Economic Forum in the south-western Polish town of Karpacz, and to meet Borys Budka, the leader of the Civic Platform, Poland’s biggest opposition party.

(pk)

Source: PAP

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