Over 700 Belarusians in Poland thanks to policies granting protection
Over 700 Belarusians have arrived in Poland under humanitarian procedures granting international protection due to the difficult situation in the country, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs an Administration Bartosz Grodecki told PAP on Wednesday.
From August 18 to October 18, 707 Belarusians entered Poland in three different ways: by obtaining a humanitarian visa, as part of the procedure for granting international protection, or within the 'Poland. Business Harbour' programme for entrepreneurs. Last week, 91 Belarusians arrived in the country.
So far, 399 Belarusians have come to Poland on humanitarian visas alone, but Polish consuls have issued several times more such visas. They are free and long-term, valid up to one year. Belarusians receive them an accelerated and simplified procedure.
One hundred and seventy Belarusians have applied for international protection in Poland, while 74 people have declared that they will submit such an application.
The 'Poland. Business Harbour' programme is coordinated by the Development Ministry and the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, in cooperation with GovTech Polska in the PM's Office, the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development (PARP) and Startup Hub Poland. The programme is to assist Belarusian freelancers, start-ups, small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies in relocating to Poland.
Belarus has been torn by protests since the August 9 presidential election, in which the incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term in office with 80.1 percent of the vote against main contender Svetlana Tikhanovskaya's 10.1 percent. Mass demonstrations against what is held to have been a rigged vote have been continuing ever since, sparking brutal reactions from the police and security forces.