The Republic of Poland and the Republic of Belarus established diplomatic relations on 2 March 1992. Poland was one of the first countries to recognise Belarusian independence. Both countries have shared histories, for they have been part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and later, the Russian Empire. They joined the United Nations together in October 1945 as original members.
Cultural relations between the two are quite friendly but diplomatic relations between the two countries are currently very strained. Poland is a member of NATO and the European Union, and has a pro-U.S. stance, whereas Belarus has long been firmly pro-Russia, and as such, the separate paths by default impair the positive bilateral relationship (see Russia–European Union relations). In August 2011, the arrest of Ales Bialiatski using information from Poland led to a harsh war of words between the two countries. However, in February 2017 some tensions arose between Belarus and Russia over border controls, and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko expressed indignation at Russia's behaviour. This has led to some speculation that Belarus may try to strengthen ties with the West, including Poland.
Poles make up 3.9% of the population of Belarus according to the 1999 Belarus Census. There were 48,700 Belarusians in Poland according to the Polish census of 2002. Both minorities represent autochthonous populations of the region and are officially recognised by their host governments.
- "Embassy of Belarus in Poland" belembassy.org. Link accessed 26 March 2009.
- "Embassy of Belarus in Poland" belembassy.org Link accessed 26 March 2009.
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- Seddon, Max. "Belarus's Lukashenko slams Russia over border controls". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
- "Embassy Belarus in Poland" belembassy.org. Link accessed 26 March 2009.
- "Embassy of Poland in Belarus" Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine minsk.polemb.net Link accessed 26 March 2009
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