Free and democratic Belarus in Poland's interest - Senate speaker

Piotr Nowak/PAP

A free and democratic Belarus is in the deepest and most vital interest of Poland, Senate Speaker Tomasz Grodzki said on Thursday after a meeting with Belarusian oppositionist Veranika Tsepkalo.

Veranika Tsepkalo, wife of Belarusian oppositionist Valery Tsepkalo, paid a visit to the Senate speaker on Thursday for a meeting also attended by Deputy Senate Speaker Gabriela Morawska-Stanecka (Left) and Civic Coalition MP Michal Szczerba.

Grodzki said of Tsepkalo after the meeting that she is "one of three women who have changed the image of the Belarusian nation." Grodzki added that Polish politicians were unanimous in their calls for a free and democratic Belarus and that it is "in the deepest and most vital interests of Poland."

"A Belarus deciding its own fate, living in peace with its neighbours in the east and west, that is the goal that as Poles we should support and we do support," Grodzki said, adding that "it seems that in Belarus the time has come for change."

Speaking English, Veranika Tsepkalo thanked the Senate speaker and other Polish politicians for their support and stressed that at the moment the only person who should be recognised as the president of Belarus is Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, the popular rival to incumbent Alexander Lukashenko in last weeks contested presidential election.