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Last Updated: Friday, 29 July 2005, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
Belarus-Poland row stirs up press
President Aleksander Lukashenko
President Lukashenko: Defying western pressure over human rights

Papers in Poland and Belarus are quick to support the home side in the diplomatic row over the status of ethnic Poles in Belarus.

Polish comment calls for more to be done to confront Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko. In Belarus, the Union of Poles is branded as a puppet pushed by Warsaw into a "dirty political game".

There was a time, not long ago, when we suffered from tyranny in Poland. Nobody, from taxi driver to university professor, had any doubts about what the free world should be doing to help our dreams of freedom. Why, then, do we suddenly not know whether to help the Belarussian opposition or how to defend the Polish diaspora in Belarus? ... Let's support the opposition openly.

Poland's Super Express

The Lukashenko regime is persecuting Andzelika Borys. The regime is trying to break Andzelika Borys, the leader of the Union of Poles in Belarus, who has been expelled from her own headquarters. Her every move is followed by herds of secret policemen. She is suspected of subversion.

Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza

Outrage in Poland at the situation in Belarus. The Polish Foreign Minister, Adam Rotfeld, has announced the recall of his ambassador for indefinite consultations. This is just a step away from breaking off diplomatic ties... Meanwhile the Belarussian ambassador to Warsaw says that the decision 'is clear confirmation of Poland's plan to inflame Polish-Belarussian ties'.

Second article in Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza

Minister Rotfeld has announced that the Polish government will soon set up an independent radio, which will broadcast in Belarussian from Poland, to break the information monopoly in Belarus. This is a radical change of policy towards Belarus. Hitherto our country has systematically advocated the toning down of the sanctions being prepared by the EU against Minsk.

Poland's Rzeczpospolita

There is no doubt that the extremist wing of the Union of Poles in Belarus is trying to split the organisation, saying they are defending ethnic minority rights, but in fact dragging the union into political adventures and rows... It is obvious that certain forces in Poland are interested in this turn of events... There will thus be no surprise if foreign masters try to involve as many as possible in anti-state activities. They will turn them into nothing more than obedient puppets being used in a dirty political game.

Belarus Respublika

The Belarussian-Polish incident is but a small part of the 'cold war' waged by the West on President Alexander Lukashenko... The Belarussian ruler is perfectly aware of this, as well as of the fact that he will no longer be able to reach any sort of accord with the West. This is exactly the reason why the cautious Lukashenko is now doing everything he can to minimise any foreign influence - including from Russia - on internal affairs in Belarus.

Belarus Belarusskaya Delovaya Gazeta

Not only Belarussians but also their western neighbours are pretty fed up with this Polish affair. The anti-Belarussian hysteria has been blown out of all proportion.

Belarus Zvyazda

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaus abroad.

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