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Aggressor behind the wall. Does Poland have anything to talk about with Lukashenko?

Pavel Latushka, Deputy Head of the United Transitional Cabinet of Belarus, Head of the National Anti-Crisis Management, Ambassador.

This year marks a significant milestone in Polish-Belarusian relations – the Lukashenko regime will have been in power for 30 years on the eastern border of Poland. Throughout the years, there have been various phases in the relationship between Poland and Belarus under the rule of Lukashenko, but never before has there been such a deep freeze in modern history.

This is not merely a figure of speech – these relations are currently frozen in a literal sense. However, it is essential to clarify that they are frozen specifically with the Lukashenko regime, while Poland's ties with Belarusian democratic forces have never been closer or more allied.

According to a report from the Center for Law and Democracy Justice Hub, since May 2020, at least 136,000 individuals have fallen victim to crimes against humanity committed by the Lukashenko regime. These crimes include unlawful imprisonment, torture, murder, rape, other forms of sexual violence, including against minors, forced disappearances, and deportations. These atrocities are unfolding behind the eastern wall of Poland, and they represent the deliberate state policy of the Lukashenko regime.

Of the hundreds of thousands of Belarusians escaping this policy, the majority have sought refuge in Poland. The assistance provided by Poland is invaluable, and it positions the country as a leading supporter of the Belarusian people within Europe. Poland has also been one of the most proactive forces in exerting pressure on Lukashenko's criminal regime.

Undoubtedly, this role exposes Poland to serious threats emanating from the Lukashenko regime. As a result of the support extended to Belarusians in 2021, Lukashenko effectively waged a hybrid war against Poland. This war has manifested itself through a migration crisis, with Poland bearing the brunt of the burden, as well as the repression of the Polish national minority in Belarus. Additionally, there has been an information war characterized by virulent anti-Polish propaganda.

This war has unequivocally demonstrated that Lukashenko's words hold no value. The dictator's promise, made on the eve of the conflict, that not a single soldier would enter Ukraine from Belarusian territory was followed by a treacherous stab in the back and a bloody massacre in Bucha, Irpen, Gostomel, and Borodyanka.

Today, the same individual speaks about the importance of peace and refers to neighboring countries as "gifts from God." His shadow diplomacy is once again attempting to employ old tricks, signaling to the West that Lukashenko remains a "guarantor of sovereignty" and that he should be given "room for maneuver."



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