Updated at 11:43,21-10-2020

Delegation of Polish parliament denied entry to Belarus


Belarusian border officers on Tuesday denied entry to six Polish MPs who were heading to Hrodna for a meeting with representatives of the Warsaw-backed "unofficial" Union of Poles in Belarus, reported Polskie Radio.

Entry was denied despite the fact that the members of the Polish Sejm’s Committee on Liaison with Poles Abroad hold effective diplomatic passports, according to the report.

In a statement issued after the incident, Maryya Vanshyna, head of the Belarusian foreign ministry’s press office, said that the delegation had failed to notify "the Belarusian side" of their planned visit.

Ms. Vanshyna suggested that a foreign parliamentary delegation might not visit any country without an invitation from the national legislature.

"The Belarusian side proceeds from the generally established practice of international relations, which suggests that a parliamentary dialogue between two states should be based on mutual respect and equality", she said. "In this regard, a questions arises as to what positive effects such secret visits, whose organization apparently tramples on the principles of mutual trust, openness and good neighborhood, can have on bilateral relations between Belarus and Poland".

Pawel Marczuk, spokesman for the Polish embassy in Minsk, told BelaPAN on Wednesday morning that he would not comment on the incident, and that the Polish foreign ministry would soon issue an official statement.