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Polish TV Company Director Refused Belarusian Visa

MINSK -- Belarusian authorities have refused to issue a visa to the director of the Warsaw-based Belsat television company that broadcasts to Belarus, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy planned to visit Minsk to participate in the Minsk Forum conference that started on November 4, but the Belarusian Consulate in Warsaw refused to issue the visa.

Romaszewska-Guzy said she was frustrated not to be able to take part in the conference. She said the visa refusal is a bad sign for Belsat.

Romaszewska-Guzy told journalists she was hoping the conference -- which was organized by the German-Belarusian Friendship Society and the German Embassy in Minsk -- would display the openness announced recently by Belarusian officials. But she said it looks like Belsat will continue having problems in Belarus and will not be officially registered.

Belsat is a satellite-television channel established by the Polish Foreign Ministry and the Polish public TV company Telewizja Polska in April
2007. It started broadcasting in December 2007.

Belsat's programs are based on reports filed by journalists in Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania.

This is the second time this year that Belarus has refused to issue Romaszewska-Guzy a visa.