On Thursday, the Polish Foreign Ministry summoned the charge d’affaires of Belarus because of the five-year sentence to journalist of the Polish TVP channel Irina Slavnikova.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland protested against the actions of Minsk, and the Belarusian diplomat called the actions of Warsaw interference in the internal affairs of Belarus, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.
According to the representative of the Polish Foreign Ministry Lukasz Yasina, during the meeting with Chargé d’Affaires Sergei Chesnovsky, the issues of persecution of independent journalists and figures of the Polish national minority in Belarus, as well as the destruction of Polish military cemeteries in Belarus were raised.
The representative of the Polish Foreign Ministry noted that after expressing a protest to the charge d’affaires of the Republic of Belarus in Poland over the sentence of Slavnikova, he noted that Warsaw was interfering in the internal affairs of Belarus.
“We see how over the past two years, and especially the last year, Belarus has reacted to international steps, and how difficult it is to agree on anything with this regime. He is absolutely not concerned about human rights violations or his image in the international arena,” Yasina stated.
He added that the Polish side presented its position to Minsk and will now focus on the fight for Irina Slavnikova and other illegally convicted Poles in Belarus.
As reported, on Wednesday a court in Homel sentenced journalist Irina Slavnikova, who worked for the Polish state television channel TVP for 15 years, to five years in prison. The journalist and her husband were detained in October last year at the airport when they were returning from a holiday in Egypt. First, they were detained for 15 days for disseminating information of an allegedly extremist nature on social networks. After the sentencing of Slavnikova, the head of the Polish government, Mateusz Morawiecki, noted that Warsaw would react decisively to this sentence to the journalist.
As you know, Polish-Belarusian relations deteriorated sharply after the presidential elections in Belarus in August 2020. Warsaw did not recognize Lukashenka’s victory and, supporting democratic changes in the country, called for re-elections. The Lukashenka regime accused Warsaw of trying to destabilize the country and trying to seize the western regions of Belarus. At the same time, the Belarusian regime began to actively persecute the leaders of the Polish national minority in the country, the parties exchanged the expulsion of diplomats. Over the past few weeks in Belarus, several burial sites of AK soldiers have been razed to the ground. In Poland, they protested about this.