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Belarus signals openness to dialogue for whitewashing its image

Belarus signals openness to dialogue for whitewashing its image Illustrative photo (photo: Getty Images)

The Belarusian government is purportedly signaling openness to dialogue with Poland in an apparent effort to whiten its image, states Stanislav Zharin, the authorized representative for information space security in the Polish government.

"Russia and Belarus continue operations against Poland, aimed at destroying PL’ image, undermining mutual trust between Poles and Ukrainians, ridiculing the security structures of the Republic of Poland and sowing anxiety in our society," he stated.

According to Zharin, Kremlin propaganda has recently persisted in a campaign to discredit Polish defense capabilities, advancing the narrative that the military potential of the Polish armed forces is exaggerated.

"At the same time, the decision of the Polish MoD to create a tank battalion in the east of the country was interpreted by the Kremlin's propaganda - including by D. Peskov - as a step towards the escalation of tensions in relations with Minsk and Moscow," he said.

Zharin noted that, in line with previously conducted operations aimed at sowing discord between Poles and Ukrainians by giving prominence to events (real or fabricated) capable of undermining mutual trust between the two nations, Russian propaganda currently focuses on the protests of Polish carriers at the border with Ukraine.

"In the propaganda activities of the Lukashenko regime regarding Poland, the following trend is observed - signals of Minsk's openness to dialogue with the future government of Poland are being conveyed, while conveniently forgetting the alleged harm that the Polish side has done so far," he said.

The Polish government representative added that simultaneously, the Lukashenko regime consistently presents Poland's current policies as aggressive, provocative, and harmful to Poland and Europe.

"Such narratives by the Belarusian regime should be perceived as an attempt to use the post-election situation in Poland to soften the Polish government's position towards Minsk's hostile actions, as well as to whiten its image, full of falsehoods," he stated.

Zharin added that the operation to destabilize the Polish-Belarusian border using artificial migration, initiated by the Lukashenko regime in the summer of 2021 and orchestrated and controlled by Belarusian authorities, is ongoing.

"This operation is also constantly accompanied by disinformation activities, consisting in constant repetition of accusations against Poland of committing - at the hands of the border services - genocide against "refugees" who crossed or tried to cross the border barrier" he emphasized.

Border blockade by Polish carriers

Last week, Polish carriers initiated the blockade of three border checkpoints with Ukraine.

They indicated that they would only unblock the border crossing points under the following conditions:

  • the return of permits for Ukrainian carriers;
  • strengthening transport requirements within the framework of the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) certificates;
  • prohibition of registration in Poland for companies with capital from outside the EU;
  • access to the Ukrainian Shlyakh system;
  • separate queues for vehicles from the EU in the eQueue system;
  • allocation of separate queues for empty vehicles.

On November 16, Polish carriers rejected the joint proposals from the European Commission, Ukraine, and Poland and refused to end the blockade of the border with Ukraine. Their main demand is a return to the permit system for Ukraine.

Additionally, the European Commission may initiate criminal proceedings against Poland if the authorities do not resolve the issue of carrier-led blockades at the border with Ukraine.