Polish, Lithuanian presidents agree joint steps towards Belarus

The presidents of Poland and Lithuania have agreed to act together and strive to implement a three-point plan for the region's leaders to help resolve the political crisis in Belarus, the Polish President's top aide said on Wednesday.

"Today there was another talk between the presidents of Poland and Lithuania. Andrzej Duda and Gitanas Nauseda exchanged views on the development of events in this country (Belarus - PAP), and agreed to take further joint steps to resolve this difficult situation," the head of the Polish President's Office, Krzysztof Szczerski, reported.

At issue is a regional plan for Belarus that calls for stopping the violence, releasing detainees and starting 'round table' talks between government officials and citizens, he added. The proposal to take part in this mediation mission will also be addressed to other partners, Szczerski also said noting that it was an internal decision of Belarus to take advantage of this solution.

Nauseda said earlier on Wednesday that the Polish and Latvian presidents were in favour of this initiative and had agreed to mediate together with him in de-escalating the crisis in Belarus.

"I want to present a three-point plan that could become a prelude to mediation by the region's presidents in resolving the political crisis in Belarus," he told reporters.

"First, Belarus' authorities stop the use of force against their citizens and de-escalate the situation. Second, Belarus' authorities release detainees, who number in the thousands already, [and] all the protesters who have been subjected to repressions. Third, Belarus resumes dialogue with its civil society," Nauseda said as reported by Lithuania's LRT news broadcaster.

If Minsk rejects the plan, sanctions against Belarus would be further discussed at the EU or national level, according to the Lithuanian president, as cited by LRT.