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The Republic of Poland and the Republic of Belarus established diplomatic relations on 2 March 1992.[1] Poland was one of the first countries to recognise Belarusian independence.[2] 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.

Belarus-Poland relations
Map indicating locations of Belarus and Poland

Belarus

Poland
A 2017 stamp sheet dedicated to the 25th anniversary of establishing Belarus–Poland relations

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.[3][4] 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.[5]

Diplomatic missionsEdit

Belarus has an embassy in Warsaw, consulates general in Gdańsk and Białystok, and a consulate in Biała Podlaska.[6] Poland has an embassy in Minsk and consulates general in Brest and Hrodna.[7]

Wiktar Gaisenak is the Belarusian ambassador in Poland;[8] Tadeusz Pawlak is the Polish ambassador in Belarus.

GeographyEdit

Belarus and Poland share a common border (~418 km long) which is the European Union external border, which also splits the primeval Białowieża Forest between Belarusian and Polish national parks.

Poles make up 3.9% of the population of Belarus according to the 1999 Belarus Census.[9] There were 48,700 Belarusians in Poland according to the Polish census of 2002.[10] Both minorities represent autochthonous populations of the region and are officially recognised by their host governments.

In 2009, a Belarusian Su-27 crashed at a Polish air show in Radom, killing both pilots.[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Embassy of Belarus in Poland" belembassy.org. Link accessed 26 March 2009.
  2. ^ "Embassy of Belarus in Poland" belembassy.org Link accessed 26 March 2009.
  3. ^ Feifer, Gregory (12 August 2011). "Poland Apologizes For Information Leak On Belarusian Activist". RFE/RL.
  4. ^ "Stunning legal nihilism in Poland’s statement on Alexander Belyatsky’s case" Archived October 2, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, BelTA, 12.08.2011 16:23. Retrieved 2011-08-15.
  5. ^ Seddon, Max. "Belarus's Lukashenko slams Russia over border controls". Financial Times. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Embassy Belarus in Poland" belembassy.org. Link accessed 26 March 2009.
  7. ^ "Embassy of Poland in Belarus" Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine minsk.polemb.net Link accessed 26 March 2009
  8. ^ "DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS A - F" msz.gov.pl. Link accessed 24 March 2009.
  9. ^ Ethnic composition of the population "1999 Census" Archived February 7, 2009, at the Wayback Machine belstat.gov.by Link accessed 24 March 2009.
  10. ^ (in Polish) Mniejszości narodowe i etniczne w Polsce on the pages of Polish Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration. Link accessed 24 March 2009.
  11. ^ "Shocking moment jet crashes at air show, killing both pilots". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-04-08.