Updated at 11:50,16-10-2017

Belarusian opposition politicians meet with Polish MPs to discuss situation ahead of 2015 presidential election

By Syarhey Karalevich, BelaPAN

Belarusian opposition politicians had a meeting in Warsaw on Thursday with members of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Polands Sejm (lower parliamentary house) in Warsaw on Thursday to discuss the situation in Belarus ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

Representatives of eight Belarusian opposition organizations took part in the meeting, including Anatol Lyabedzka, chairman of the United Civic Party; Syarhey Kalyakin, chairman of the Spravedlivy Mir (Just World) Belarusian Party of the Left (BPL); Yury Hubarevich, first deputy chairman of the Movement for Freedom; Uladzimir Nyaklyayew, chairman of the Tell the Truth! movement, and Alyaksey Yanukevich, chairman of the Belarusian Popular Front. Eight representatives of the Belarusian ethnic community in Poland were also present at the meeting.

Our discussion focused on the situation in Belarus in the run-up to next years presidential election, human rights issues and the situation of media outlets and opposition organizations, Mr. Hubarevich told BelaPAN. We had a rather lively exchange of views.

Representatives of a whole variety of Polish political organizations attended the meeting, but they all spoke with one voice on Belarus and agreed to develop cooperation with Belarusian organizations, just like Polish political forces are cooperating with the Lithuanians and the Swedes, he said.

An agreement was reached to hold such meetings on a regular basis and draw up a specific agenda for each of them, Mr. Hubarevich said. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2015.

For some time, Polands focus shifted away from Belarus because of the crisis in Ukraine, but now the Belarus issue is coming back to the fore, he noted.