Solidary with Belarus’ plan – Poland to support the repressed

Security, openness and solidarity – these are the three pillars of the Polish plan for solidarity with the Belarusian society presented in the Sejm by Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. Our country will allocate PLN 50 million to fulfil the plan in its first year. These funds will constitute additional resources on top of those allocated by Poland for other Belarus-related programmes, such as Belsat TV.

Poland is the cradle of Solidarność (Solidarity) and today, solidarity will not let us idly stand by in the face of brutal pacification of peaceful demonstrations in Belarus the Head of Government stressed. The stronger Belarus is, the safer Poland becomes he added.

The Prime Minister recalled the words of President Lech Kaczyński, who had stated that the role of Poland was to stand up for countries that nobody else would stand up for. We see a great drive in the Belarusian society to soar towards freedom and democracy. We wish to help them to express their views, desires and freedoms Mateusz Morawiecki remarked.

The Solidary with Belarus plan  – five key points

The programme, for which Poland is to allocate PLN 50 million in its first year, is predicated on the following five objectives:

  • support for the repressed: expansion of the Polish and Polish-American victim support programmes
  • Wincenty Konstanty Kalinowski scholarship scheme: the scheme will be available to students and scientists expelled from Belarusian universities as a result of repressions (they will get the opportunity to study and work in Poland),
  • easier access to Poland and the job market: the package will include exemption from visa fees, and, in special cases, exemptions from the obligation to hold documents, along with easier access to the job market,
  • help for independent media: aid will be directed at independent media and publishing companies in Belarus (Belsat TV, the Karta’97 website, Radio Racja),
  • NGO support programme: a new programme of the International Solidarity Foundation will be launched for NGOs supporting a civil society in Belarus and Belarusian independent media.

Our actions will not constitute an interference with the domestic affairs of our neighbour. We can, and we should, lend a helping hand to the people of Belarus the Prime Minister highlighted. We also call on Belarusian authorities to consider free elections; they must be fair and supported by observers from other countries he added.

The Head of Government also reminded that he had proposed a special meeting of the European Council to his EU partners in order to discuss the case of Belarus. One must not put on a mask of indifference at such times the Prime Minister stressed.

Long live the free and democratic Belarus! Long live the free Belarusian nation! said Mateusz Morawiecki.

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