Poland wants freedom for Belarus, pledges EU aid
Poland wants to see freedom and democracy in Belarus and promises the support of the whole EU, PM Mateusz Morawiecki said on Tuesday in Katowice, southern Poland. The situation in Belarus will be the subject of a Wednesday online EU summit.
"We fully support the civil protests in Belarus. We know well that the Belarusians want real democracy and freedom," Morawiecki said. He described the current situation in Belarus as "very dynamic," and said Poland would like to see "truly free and honest" elections in the country.
Morawiecki reminded that he moved for the Wednesday summit last week, and said the meeting will discuss the situation in Belarus, the EU's position towards it, and possible sanctions against the country. He added that he had already discussed the matter with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EC head Ursula von der Leyen, European Council head Charles Michel and the leaders of the Visegrad Group countries.
Morawiecki recalled his recent telephone conversation with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who lost the currently protested elections to the country's to-date president Alexander Lukashenko. Morawiecki said Tsikhanouskaya was in an "unbelievably difficult situation," and voiced his best wishes to her, the Belarusian opposition and the Belarusian people.
"We believe this battle for freedom and democracy will end with success, and that this very difficult time will be dealt with by peaceful means," Morawiecki said in Katowice.
Protests are still underway in Belarus after the country's recent presidential elections, won in a landslide victory by to-date president Alexander Lukashenko, official results showed. According to the protesters the exit polls, which gave Lukashenka over 80 percent of the vote and Tsikhanouskaya an ostensible 9.9 percent, were manipulated.
Despite international criticism, Belarusian police are using violence, including tear gas and stun grenades, to quell the protests. About 7,000 people have been arrested.