Lukashenka calls for closer political ties with Poland
Alyaksandr Lukashenka met with the speaker of Poland's Senate in Minsk on Monday, calling for closer political ties between the two countries.
"I hope very much that your visit to Belarus will be the start of the most active dialogue between our countries," Mr. Lukashenka told Stanislaw Karczewski. He noted that Belarus and Poland had always lived "in concord," had a shared history and had nothing to quarrel over.
"And since Poland and maybe a share of our population sometimes raise questions concerning our common history, I want to assure you that we will always be open," the presidential press office quoted him as saying. "We are always ready to answer the Polish side's questions and inquiries."
Mr. Lukashenka warned against rewriting history to fit current political agendas. "And our main task is to know it as much correctly as possible and act in a way that would not draw accusations of not taking the past and the lessons of history into consideration," he said.
Mr. Lukashenka welcomed the recent intensification of political dialogue between the two countries and expressed a high opinion of their economic ties. "But they are absolutely below our potential," he said, noting that Minsk was open for discussions on any subject.
He suggested raising bilateral political relations to the level of current economic cooperation. "Without people's diplomacy, without the parliamentary dimension it's very hard to build both political and economic relations in the present-day world," he said. "That's why your visit is also important because it will contribute to the normalization of our relations and help bring cooperation to a higher level."
Mr. Karczewski, for his part, emphasized the importance of inter-parliamentary cooperation, which he said improves the atmosphere of relations between countries.
Much attention at the meeting was reportedly devoted to efforts to further develop economic ties between Belarus and Poland. "Large-scale events involving local authorities and businesspeople may become an efficient tool in this sphere," said the presidential press office. "Polish business circles are also ready to boost cooperation with Belarusian partners in the investment sphere."