Belarus must fulfill a list of demands put forward by Poland in order to mend their strained relations, according to Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski. Lukashenko’s call for improved ties between the two nations was met with skepticism by Jablonski, who described it as “empty talk.” He also highlighted the ongoing attacks on the Polish border as evidence that Lukashenko’s words held no substance.
Jablonski asserted that Poland had no intention of having bad relations with Belarus and was not responsible for the current state of affairs. He emphasized that if Belarus was serious about improving relations, the solution was simple: stop attacking the Polish border, release Andrzej Poczobut and other political prisoners, and put an end to the alleged campaign of hatred and hybrid warfare against Poland.
The complicated relationship between Belarus and its Western neighbors, including Poland, has significantly deteriorated following the disputed outcome of the 2020 presidential elections in Belarus and the subsequent mass protests. The EU, including Poland, openly supported the opposition to Lukashenko, further straining relations between the two countries.
Furthermore, the conflict between Russia, Belarus’ main ally, and Ukraine has added fuel to the fire. Poland expressed anger over the deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus and raised concerns about the activities of the Wagner Group private military company, which was reportedly operating near the border.
The tension escalated when the Wagner Group was redeployed to Belarus after a failed mission in June. The presence of the PMC near the border raised alarm in Poland, with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki warning of an impending hybrid attack on Polish territory. Lukashenko dismissed these claims, accusing Poland of being “mad” for believing such rumors.
In response to Lukashenko’s recent call for improved relations with Poland and the EU, he referred to the Polish people as “our people, the Slavs,” emphasizing their shared ethnicity. He also suggested that Poland had been merely acting on behalf of the United States and exacerbating the strained relationship between Belarus and the EU.
The debate over improving relations between Belarus and Poland continues to be complex and contentious. Poland remains firm in its demands for Belarus to take concrete actions to mend ties, while Lukashenko’s call for reconciliation is met with skepticism. The ongoing conflicts and tensions in the region further complicate the prospects for meaningful improvement in the relationship between the two nations.