Updated at 11:43,21-10-2020

Poland ready to abolish visas for Belarusians

Vitaut Siuchyk, Belsat

The newly appointed Ambassador of Poland has met with reporters and talked about his mission priorities.

Among other things, Artur Michalski touched on the issues of the rights of the Polish diaspora and Schengen visas for Belarusians.

“There will be an increase in different kinds of cultural initiatives, honoring our common past. The economic component is also very important. Just yesterday I attended the signing of an agreement on the improvement of infrastructure of bridges on the Belarusian-Polish border,” said Michalski.

The issue that is probably the most interesting for the citizens of Belarus is connected with visas. Last year, the Polish consulates issued to Belarusians as much as 418 000, of which 53 thousand — the workers visas. And it is the ceiling for the consulate.

Warsaw asked the Belarusian side to increase the staff of the consuls, but the answer is no. The Ambassador reminded that Poland has always stood for the abolition of visas for the “Eastern Partnership” countries when the governments of these countries expressed interest.

“I had the pleasure to be the ambassador of Poland in Chisinau, to witness the historic event, when we cancelled EU visas for Moldova. Now, as we know, we have the same conditions of cooperation with Ukraine and Georgia. The citizens of this country travel freely. “

Presidents of Poland have not visited Belarus for 22 years.

The Ambassador confirmed that the president Andrzej Duda will not participate in tomorrow’s opening of the memorial in Trostenets. He also mentioned Kurapaty, noting that it is necessary to remember the crimes of not only the Nazis, but the Stalinists.

The Ambassador also answered the question about pressure on journalists of “Belsat”.

“Poland is particularly dedicated to the ideals of freedom of speech and media. Such facts are sorrowful, we are in dialogue with the Belarusian authorities. The journalist must be able to have normally, freely,” said Michalski.

The ambassador spoke alot about the importance of good relations. Belarusians and Poles are neighbors who have much in common in culture and past, and the official Warsaw is committed to supporting Belarusian civil society. Artur Michalski also noted: over the 10 years, the Polish Embassy has allocated one million euros to help the Belarusian nursing homes, schools, orphanages, and this policy will continue.