Belarusians in need can count on Poland, Polish PM tells Tikhanovskaya

Belarusians in need can count on Poland, Polish PM tells Tikhanovskaya Leszek Szymański/PAP

Poland is an open home for all Belarusians who need help, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki told Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya as they held a press conference together in Warsaw on Wednesday.

"In our programme called 'In Solidarity with Belarus,' we offer aid to the repressed and we're trying to support Belarusian groups that carry the song of freedom to Belarus, fighting for a democratic, free and sovereign Belarus," Morawiecki said.

Morawiecki said that soon after what he called a rigged presidential elections in Belarus, Poland called for a European Council meeting, which then expressed a clear opinion. "The whole EU supports the Belarusian nation in its right to express its will, to live in freedom, in democracy," he said.

"We'll soon be presenting an economic plan for the Belarusian people, for the Belarusian state, one that is aimed to show that Europe is open to Belarus, that Europe is open to the Belarusian nation," the prime minister said.

Later, at a meeting organised at the new Belarusian House on Kryniczna Street in Warsaw, attended by representatives of the local Belarusian diaspora and members of the Belarusian opposition Coordination Council, including Pavel Latushko and Olga Kavalkova, as well as Polish government officials, Morawiecki handed Tikhanovskaya the symbolic keys to the establishment. "We wish Belarusians find their true home in Belarus, but the fight has to start somewhere," the PM said.

Thanking Morawiecki for the establishment of the Belarusian House in Poland, Tikhanovskaya said that the Belarusian nation has begun to fight for its rights, including the right to determine the future of their homeland. She recalled the aggression and violence that the Lukashenko's regime uses against protesters.

"People cannot come to terms with what happened on August 8 and 9, when they took to the streets and started defending their rights. For us, for the nation, there is no legitimacy anymore and we cannot accept Alexander Lukashenko as our leader," Tikhanovskaya said, as she called for the organisation of "fair" presidential elections in Belarus.

Tikhanovskaya also thanked Poland for accepting her and all her fellow citizens that have been forced to leave their country.

"I believe that after the new elections we will maintain good relations with the Polish government. And that they will also support us morally and financially because our situation is on the verge of an economic precipice," she said.