Polish president hopes for democratic Belarus
Polish President Andrzej Duda has expressed hope that one day a democratically-elected Belarusian leader will join the Lublin Triangle, a regional format composed of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine.
On Thursday, the Lithuanian, Polish and Ukrainian presidents met at a virtual summit of the Lublin Triangle to mark the 30th anniversary of Ukraine being recognised by Poland as an independent state.
The president's words were reported by his international policy aide, Jakub Kumoch, later on Thursday.
"President Duda made it clear that he believes that a democratically-elected leader of Belarus will one day sit among the leaders of the group," Kumoch told PAP.
Belarus has been ruled for almost three decades by the country's strongman, Alexander Lukashenko. Belarusian opposition and the West do not recognise him as a legitimate president amid accusations of rigged elections.
Kumoch said a true Belarusian leader was missing because "Belarusians have been deprived of the right to democratically elect their leader."
Poland was the first country to recognise Ukraine as an independent state on December 2, 1991. Lithuania followed suit two days later.