A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

"It's a lateral transfer" -- George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States
my photo
  Warsaw, Poland

view profile | e-mail Gustav

*roundtrip ticket

Friday, July 22, 2005

Poland's Row With Belarus To Affect Visa Policy

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:
Polish authorities have suggested they could toss a Belarusian diplomat out of the country and hinted at visa troubles for Belarusians in the latest installment of a tit-for-tat row that erupted two months ago between those neighboring countries.

'The actions of the Belarusian authorities not only deteriorate the climate of bilateral relations but contain destructive elements,' PAP quoted Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksander Checko as saying yesterday.

Warsaw does not rule out a diplomatic expulsion in connection with the ouster earlier this month of Andrzej Buczak, director of the consular department of the Polish Embassy in Minsk, Checko reportedly said. Checko added that Buczak's expulsion 'cannot remain without influence on the efficiency of visa services and facilitations in traveling to Poland' for Belarusians.

Checko also stressed that Minsk's decision is tantamount to the rejection of the Polish offer of solving the ongoing Warsaw-Minsk diplomatic dispute through negotiation.

A Pattern Emerging?

A series of reciprocal diplomatic expulsions began in May when Minsk ousted Polish diplomat Marek Bucko, accusing him of interfering with activities of the Union of Poles in Belarus.

Minsk also recently denied a visa renewal to an American professor who had taught business and law classes at Belarusian State University since 2003 without offering an explanation. The professor, Terry Boesch, subsequently told RFE/RL's Belarus Service that he believes his case is part of a campaign to rid Belarus of Western influence ahead of general elections slated for 2006.

Instead of considering using Polish troops in some future operation in Palestine, why isn't Bush coming out strongly on the Polish side in this issue, further putting pressure on the Belorussian government? Bush says his goal is to spread democracy - why is so little being done to oust the last dictatorship in Europe, especially with such strong New European allies willing to step right in and do the diplomatic heavy lifting? The EU as a whole would show unbending support for such a move (meaning it could go a long way towards repairing relations). What is the reason?

One word: Putin


Post a Comment


Create a Link

< Main

american expat piękna polska michigan, my michigan Pijemy po polsku - Kickin' it Polish style Warsaw Station on Feedburner subscribe to my feed my feed