Polish and Belarusian people must not be antagonised says president

President Andrzej Duda has said he sees it as his task to prevent divisions between the Polish and Belarusian nations despite attempts by the Belarusian authorities to fuel nationalist sentiment.

Poland has expressed its alarm over the brutal suppression of pro-democracy movements by the regime of Belarusian president Alexander Lukashenko, and its apparent targeting of leaders of Belarus’s Polish community.

Lukashenko has accused some the leaders of promoting Nazism due to their commemoration of Polish WWII resistance fighters.

"A lot of effort has been put into antagonising our societies and nations, but we're all citizens of one Poland and I would like us to prevent this from happening," Duda said before meeting the local Belarusian minority in Bielsk Podlaski, a town near Poland's border with Belarus, on Monday afternoon.

"I believe that it is a great role of the Polish president to counter such attempts, to highlight certain things and to call a spade a spade," Duda continued, but stopped short of elaborating on the issue.