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Poland and Belarus in border row

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 14.10.2011 08:46
The Lukashenko regime has asked Poland to “refrain from provocative action” following the latest spat between Warsaw and Minsk over whether Poland questions the territorial validity of Belarus's western border.

Lukashenko; photo - east news

Though welcoming assurances that Poland was not questioning Belarus's western border, Belarus foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Savinyh has said that Minsk authorities “cannot ignore activities of Poland which aim at politicizing relations with the Polish national minority in Belarus and assigning financial means to intervene in political processes taking place in Belarus”.

Poland called in the Belarusian ambassador in Warsaw earlier this week after President Alexander Lukashenko complained at the weekend over Poland and Germany's “aggressive” policy towards Belarus's borders.

“They are trying by hook or by crook to chop off part of Western Belarus. I must say, as long as I live and exist here as president, they won’t get it. Our country is united, integral and indivisible. And it won’t work pressing us by the fifth column," he said.

In January, Lukashenko, after EU protests at what it regards as rigged presidential elections a month earlier which gave Lukashenko another five years in office, he said:

“In Poland some people believe our border runs not where it should. They believe that Stalin delineated the border in the wrong place,”The Polish Foreign Ministry described Lukashenko's statements as being “irresponsible”.

The Belarusian foreign ministry called this week for Poland to “withdraw from making these provocative actions so as to allow the elimination of numerous unnecessary problems from bilateral relations.”

Belarusian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Savinyh said on Wednesday that Minsk has welcomed assurances from the Polish side about its absolute lack of territorial claims towards Belarus.

Poland's Foreign Ministry, however, says it has assured Ambassador Victar Haisyonak that, “Poland has never questioned the lasting character of the Polish-Belarusian border” and that “this type of statement is highly irresponsible and aimed at provoking unnecessary difficulties in relations between neighbours.” (pg/ss)

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