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Polish FM: Belarusians Should Seek To Change Political Situation

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski says it is up to the population of Belarus to try to influence the political situation there, RFE/RL's Belarus Service reports.

Talking to RFE/RL and BelaPAN Television Company on October 10, Sikorski said it is imperative to continue with a policy of issuing conditions to Belarus.

He said if President Alyaksandr Lukashenka releases political prisoners as he did prior to the presidential election in 2010, it will be possible to talk with him.

If he puts more of his opponents behind bars, then it will be necessary to impose additional sanctions, Sikorski added.

But on no account should Lukashenka be isolated completely. We have to praise his positive steps towards honoring European values, and criticize him, or even punish him, for doing anything that contradicts European values, Sikorski said.

Sikorski also said he believes that Lukashenka needs to start thinking about the fate of those dictators who have lost power in recent months.

It is not too late for Lukashenka to choose the path of Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland's communist leader in the 1980s, who continues to live in his own country and was recently visited in hospital by Poland's first post-Communist President, Lech Walesa.

There are other scenarios for dictators which are much worse, Sikorski said.

Sikorski called absurd Lukashenka's recent statements about Poland's alleged "intention to revise its borders with Belarus."

Sikorski said the Polish Foreign Ministry plans to summon Belarusian Ambassador to Poland Viktar Haysionak and officially protest Lukashenka's statement to that effect last week in an interview with Russian journalists.

Sikorski also said that the Belarusian nation is a European nation which should seek to take control over the situation in the country.

At this juncture, however, Sikorski continued, the situation is controlled not by the Belarusian people, but by the president and his associates. Sikorski expressed the hope that the Belarusian nation will soon be able to celebrate and exercise democracy in their country, just as the Polish people are doing now.

Read more in Belarusian here