Lines laid down by Poland, Lithuania should be continued by EU - aide

The Polish president's chief aide, Krzysztof Szczerski, has told PAP that the directions laid down by the Polish and Lithuanian heads of state in their joint statement should be continued by the EU.

Szczerski underlined that, while responding to the developments in Belarus, one should remember that it was a sharp internal political conflict and not external aggression.

Asked about plans of the Polish authorities in reaction to the situation in Belarus, Szczerski said that the statement by the Polish and Lithuanian presidents was an official position on Belarus at the state level. "First, we have to collect positions of other capitals in order to have a full picture of international reactions to this situation," he stated.

Recalling that Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has appealed for an extraordinary EU summit, Szczerski said that "Poland will now be waiting for a response to the Polish appeal for a meeting of heads of state and government of EU countries."

"We also have to follow the development of events in Belarus. Every successive reaction of the Polish authorities will be appropriate to the development of events in that country," he stated.

Asked what EU reaction he expected, the official said that, on the one hand, there should be a clear declaration that the EU demanded that the Belarusian authorities should respect civil rights and freedoms, stop violence towards their own citizens, and start dialogue with the nation. "On the other hand, Belarus has the full right to expect the EU to cooperate and to ensure it that it is part of our European community," he went on to say.

Szczerski underlined that the point was not to build an impassable wall between the EU and Belarus. "On the one hand, we have clear standards which we expect the Belarusian authorities to observe, and on the other hand, we declare that the future of Belarus is in the European community. This is what I expect the European Council to do, namely, to repeat the political lines laid down by the Polish and Lithuanian presidents," he said.

The Polish and Lithuanian presidents have appealed to the Belarusian authorities to fully recognise and observe democratic standards, to stop violence, and to respect fundamental freedoms and human and civil rights.

They also called on the Belarusian authorities to respect the rights of national minorities and freedom of speech.

Szczerski said that the mater in question was not external aggression, as happened in the case of Georgia or Ukraine. "The response must be appropriate to the nature of the conflict in Belarus. And this is a sharp internal political conflict in the Belarusian state, between the authorities and the opposition," he stated.