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Poland Calls On Belarus To Release Activists


http://gdb.rferl.org/0d9b4e8d-8311-498f-a0ae-b090bfa0f3c1_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/0d9b4e8d-8311-498f-a0ae-b090bfa0f3c1_mw800_mh600.jpg The Minsk headquarters of the Union of Poles in Belarus (file photo) (Bymedia.net) August 20, 2006 -- Poland's Foreign Ministry has called on Belarus to release three detained officials of an association representing Belarus's Polish minority.


The ministry said in an August 19 statement that Belarusian authorities detained the three on August 18, a day before a meeting of the Union of Poles in Belarus (SPB).


Last year, Minsk accused the SPB of fomenting a revolution among Belarusian Poles.


Warsaw intervened in the dispute. Relations between Warsaw and Minsk soured when Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka accused Poland of interfering in Belarus's internal affairs.


The dispute led to a series of tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats from both countries.


(AFP)

Belarus And Poland

An anti-Lukashenka demonstration in Warsaw on February 22 (RFE/RL)

LOOKING OVER THE FENCE: In the 12 months leading up to today's presidential elections, Polish citizens have taken a strong interest in the fate of their neighbors, the Belarusians. Some say this is because the two countries are geographically linked and it is in Poland's best interest to be surrounded by democratic friends. Others say it is because of Poland's own strong history fighting against oppression. Regardless of the reason, one thing is indisputable: Poland is almost as invested in the results of the March 19 election as Belarus is....(more)

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Warsaw Seems To Be Losing Duel With Minsk Over Ethnic Organization


Click on the image to view a dedicated page with news, analysis, and background information about the Belarusian presidential ballot.

MEET THE CANDIDATES: Read brief biographies of the four candidates in the March 19 election.


Click on the image to view RFE/RL's coverage of the election campaign in Belarusian and to listen to RFE/RL's Belarus Service.

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