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Monday, 22 February 2010

"I am counting on the solidarity of the European Union"

Andżelika Borys and President Lech Kaczyński

“It is my duty as President of the Republic, and an obvious thing, to express full solidarity,” President Lech Kaczyński said after meeting Andżelika Borys and representatives of the Union of Poles in Belarus, who visited the Presidential Palace on Monday.


The President noted that the situation for the Polish minority in Belarus had worsened considerably over the last year, and in recent weeks the repressions against the Union of Poles had increased. He said that he had never been indifferent to the fate of Poles in Belarus and had taken concrete actions to improve their difficult situation. One of these initiatives was a recent letter to President Lukashenko, in which the Polish President expressed his concern and firm opposition against increasing repression against the Union of Poles in Belarus.


Lech Kaczyński remarked that, notwithstanding the goodwill, the actions taken so far by the Polish government in relation to Poles in Belarus have not been effective. He expressed his sincere hope that the actions of the European Union may improve the situation of the Polish minority there.


“What happens to the Polish minority in Belarus is of course primarily my country’s concern. But it is also a matter of solidarity throughout the European Union, and on this I would like to count,” the President said.

He emphasized that Poland not only protects its countrymen but, first and foremost, defends values and principles. “Universal and fundamental principles in terms of the Union’s system of values. For we are defending a civil society, which includes the place and rights of minorities, in this case the Polish minority, as well as the rights of the opposition,” the President said, adding that currently all of these rights are being violated in Belarus.

“I urge the European Union towards solidarity. Solidarity that our countrymen and those wishing for change in Belarus urgently need. And I am counting on this solidarity,” he stated.


The head of the Union of Poles in Belarus, Andżelika Borys, thanked the President for his solidarity. “It is of great importance to thousands of Poles and others who are fighting for their rights today, the rights to normality,” she stressed after the meeting.


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