Presidential aide meets Belarusian oppositionist Svetlana Tikhanovskaya

The head of Polish President Andrzej Duda's office, Krzysztof Szczerski, met on Tuesday with Belarusian oppositionist Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, after which he said that without international pressure, the situation in Belarus would only worsen.

Szczerski went on to say that the basic aims for Belarus were a cessation of violence and a guarantee that Belarusians could vote for the country's future in free elections.

The presidential aide wrote on Twitter that it was "an interesting conversation about the difficult current situation and support for the future."

"Every nation has the right to free elections of authorities, to respect and security," he tweeted.

Szczerski told PAP that Tikhanovskaya had thanked him during the meeting for "the ceaseless support on the part of Poland for civil society, for the idea of free elections and political freedom in Belarus, also including all the initiatives that President Andrzej Duda has undertaken in this field."

"Let's remember that the presidents of Poland and Lithuania were the first to speak out in the international arena directly after the latest voting that took place in Belarus on August 9," Szczerski said. "With that voice, presidents Duda and Gitanas started prompting international interest in the situation in Belarus."

He said his talk with Tikhanovskaya had focused primarily on the ongoing situation and how the confrontation looks today between the authorities and citizens. He said he gave her his assurance that the aim of the entire international community was to guarantee Belarusian citizens the opportunity for free elections, as well as to end the violence and guarantee security and free speech.

Szczerski also said he had told the Belarusian opposition leader, who lost in a presidential election to incumbent strongman Alexander Lukashenko, that the issue of Belarus had been on the agenda of Monday's Three Seas Initiative summit of 12 countries lying between the Adriatic, Black and Baltic Seas. He said the situation in Belarus affects the whole region and expressed hope that international interest could be maintained as, without international pressure, the situation there would only deteriorate.

He added that Poland and the European Union should have a definite offer of cooperation for Belarus to transform democratically.