Meeting with Poland Prime Minister Witold Waszczykowski
Belarus and Poland can play an important role in Europe
and have an influence on many processes, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko
said as he met with Poland Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski on
“We are neighboring countries.
We share history. Our problems are often more or less the same. Yet, it took
very long for a minister from Warsaw to visit,” Alexander Lukashenko noted.
In his words, the sides need to discuss a
number of things. “I cannot say that there are issues which are hard for us to
estimate or difficult to solve. We can solve any problems if there is
willingness on two sides. The main thing is to determine the criteria. I do not
think there will be any problems here,” the Belarusian head of state
He emphasized that when building
relations the Belarusian side will use the criteria which are at heart of the
Polish foreign policy. “We will protect our sovereignty and independence just
like you do. There are no differences here at all. We sometimes look at how you
do it. We will use your example of implementing the social and economic policy
in the country. But we will try to do it in a way so that no one could ever
reproach us for the deficit or absence of democracy.
“If this format suits you, we will come to terms very quickly. I
think it will be difficult for you to reject this format because we act
according to your rules,” the Belarusian leader added.
Alexander Lukashenko thanked the Polish side for seeing
Belarus as a sovereign and independent country.
“If partners with whom we are engaged in dialogue make us choose
between the East and the West, i.e. between Russia and the European Union, we
will not accept this position. I am absolutely convinced that you do not need
this position today either. I believe that Poland, more than anyone, would like
Belarus to be both an independent and stable state. I think that after Ukraine
the West does not need one more unstable state. This will not benefit Poland,”
the Belarusian head of state noted. He stressed that Poland has never put the
question this way.
“Being in the center
of the European continent, Belarus and Poland can play an important role and
have an influence on the processes happening here. We can do it in the best
interests of Poland and Belarus but never at the expense of our neighbors,” the
President stressed. “But we will not give away what belongs to us. This is your
stance, and this is our stance,” the Belarusian leader added.
The Belarusian head of state expressed hope that
the visit of Witold Waszczykowski to Belarus will give a boost to the bilateral
relations. “We should not be looking at each other over the fence. We have
always been able to understand each other, and I would like it to remain so,”
the Belarusian leader stressed.
President stressed that Belarus is ready for the closest cooperation with
Alexander Lukashenko pointed out
that the countries share a common history. Many people with Belarusian roots
live in Poland, same as there are many ethnic Poles living in Belarus. The head
of state noted that people of all ethnic background enjoy equal rights in
Belarus, and he personally pays much attention to this matter. “I must do
everything for people to live a normal life. My position is firm, and nobody
will dissuade me,” the President emphasized. As for religious issues, there is
nothing to reproach the Belarusian authorities for. Everyone can choose a
religion he wants. “I treat everyone equally, and will continue to do so,” the
Belarusian leader stressed.
welcomes such an approach, the sides will quickly settle the issues that are on
today’s agenda or that may arise in the future, Alexander Lukashenko
For his part, Witold Waszczykowski
noted that the new Polish government believes it is not normal that Belarus and
Poland have not been talking to each other for many years, keeping in mind that
they are neighbors. “This is why we have decided to start a dialogue without any
preconditions to settle all the issues of our neighborly relations as soon as
possible,” he said.
The meeting focused
on a wide range of issues of bilateral relations, the international agenda,
including regional security. The sides paid much attention to economic
cooperation and pointed out a big potential for the implementation of
integration projects in view of the transit position of Belarus and