As recounted by the head of the President of Poland’s International Policy Bureau Krzysztof Szczerski, the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Security and Co-operation in Europe Helga Schmid assured the Polish President Andrzej Duda that she “will use all available diplomatic instruments to improve the situation of Poles in Belarus.”
Speaking with the Polish Press Agency (PAP), Mr Szczerski underlined that during the meeting between the officials, President Duda “stressed that the situation does not improve whilst the repressions against the Polish minority become more severe. The Secretary-General assured that the OSCE would ‘use all available diplomatic instruments to improve the situation of Poles in Belarus’.”
Mr Szczerski went on to say that Ms Schmid stressed that she had already activated many diplomatic channels at the disposal of the OSCE in order to call on the Belarussian authorities to address the situation of Poles in Belarus. She has also made moves to raise the issue on the forum of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
Regarding Ukraine, “the President and the Secretary-General share a conviction that the key issue for the situation in Ukraine is to have a comprehensive and decisive response of the western states to Russia’s action — a response that would communicate non-acceptance of the escalation,” Mr Szczerski said.
The official went on to say that in the context of Ukraine, the OSCE, whose observation mission is currently deployed in Ukraine, was concerned with two aspects. “Firstly, limiting the OSCE mission’s liberty to act in the face of soaring tensions and various sorts of actions aimed at the stifling of the possibility to monitor the situation in eastern Ukraine where we are dealing with the permanent violation of truce and ceasefire.”
Mr Szczerski noted the OSCE’s concerns that, as a result of provocations, the spike in tension could easily metastasize into an armed conflict. “Today, this is the main reason behind Poland’s concerns as well,” he added.
Moldova and other topics
The official said that the discussion also covered “Moldova, where we hope to see stabilisation of the internal situation and development of the state in the direction desired by the Moldovian society.” He added that President Duda would speak with his Moldovian counterpart Maia Sandu, “also in the context of the situation on the Black Sea and the Russian maneuvers in the vicinity of Ukraine.”
Georgia and the ramifications of the latest conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia were also on the discussion table.
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