Polish PM meets the leader of Belarusian opposition

Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

At the prime minister's office, the head of the government, Mateusz Morawiecki, met with the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Sviatlana Cichanouska. The main topic of the talks was the current situation and developments in Belarus, the government spokesman Piotr Müller announced.

This is the second meeting between Prime Minister Morawiecki and the opposition leader in Belarus, the previous one was held in early September.

"The pro-democratic aspirations of Belarusians, the current situation in Belarus and the shape of further aid for the opposition and the repressed people are the main topics that we raised during today's repeat visit of Swiatłana Cichanouska to Poland," Morawiecki wrote on Facebook after the meeting.

"The opposition is not going to give up - and we will support it in solidarity in this difficult time, to the best of our current capabilities," the Prime Minister assured.

Cichanouska came to Warsaw at the invitation of the College of Europe in Natolin, where she will take part in the inauguration of the academic year.

"Today, at a meeting with Prime Minister Morawiecki, I gave him a letter in which I am asking for changes to the laws in such a way that people who come to Poland as part of humanitarian programs and who were forced to leave Belarus, could work in Poland," said Sviatlana Cichanouska.

‘We do not want to live in Poland at the expense of others; it is important to us that we can work and earn a living; we want to benefit the state that has welcomed us’ - Cichanouska said.

Before the meeting with the Prime Minister, the leader of the Belarusian opposition met, inter alia, with the head of the president's office, Krzysztof Szczerski.

Cichanouska announced a week ago that she would announce a nationwide strike if Alyaksandr Lukashenka did not comply with three demands by 25 October inclusive: he did not announce his resignation, he did not completely stop violence in the streets and would not release all political prisoners.

Polish presidential minister calls for international pressure on Minsk

‘Without international pressure, the situation in Belarus will deteriorate; the main goals are to stop the violence against protesters and guarantee Belarusians the possibility of a free choice for the future of the country’, said Krzysztof Szczerski, head of the president's cabinet.

Minister Szczerski met with Sviatlana Cichanouska, and her advisor on international affairs, Franciszek Vyaczorka. The minister tweeted that these were "interesting talks about the difficult situation and support for the future." "Every nation has the right to free choice of authorities, respect and security," he concluded.

On Tuesday, Cichanouska called on the Belarusian power structures to pass over to the side of the nation. Cichanouska, who was a candidate in the August presidential elections in Belarus, promised the officials that they would avoid vetting.

Protests in Belarus have been going on for over two months after the presidential election on 9th August, in which, according to official results, Lukashenka won over 80 percent of the votes.

Participants in the protests do not recognise these results and are demanding a second election. Security services regularly use violence against demonstrators, and several thousand people have been detained for participating in the protests.

Warsaw mayor Trzaskowski offers help to Blearusian opposition

President of Warsaw, Rafał Trzaskowski also met with the leader of the Belarusian opposition, Sviatlana Cichanouska. The conversation - the president of the capital stated - concerned possible support for the freedom aspirations of Belarusians.

Trzaskowski wrote about the meeting in the afternoon on Twitter. "I met (with Swiatlana Cichanouska), the undisputed leader of a democratic Belarus. We talked about how (Warsaw) could support the aspirations of Belarusians and help those who were forced to leave the country due to repression," wrote the Mayor of Warsaw. He also posted a photo of the meeting.