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29 June 2022, 15:54

MFA calls on Poland to stop building wall through protected forest at Belarus border

Yuri Ambrazevich
Yuri Ambrazevich

MINSK, 29 June (BelTA) - We expect that the consequences of the construction of the fence on the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be eliminated, Belarusian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Yuri Ambrazevich said at a joint session of the House of Representatives Standing Commission on Ecology, Nature Management and the Chernobyl Disaster and the Standing Commission on International Affairs on 29 June to discuss construction of barriers in transboundary protected areas, consequences of such actions and possible solutions to such problems, BelTA has learned.

“The Polish government must stop violating the rights of its citizens and citizens of Belarus, and also all other persons interested in preserving the biological safety of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. It must stop violating its international obligations. Being a political body, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to inform the international community about violations by the Polish government of its obligations under a number of international treaties. We expect a principled position of UNESCO on Poland's actions. We expect explanations from Poland in UNESCO and other European organizations on the subject of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. We expect that all consequences of the fence construction will be eliminated and the object, which we share with Poland, will be brought back to normal,” the deputy minister said.

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According to Yuri Ambrazevich, Belarus counts on the assistance of Polish public activists, environmental organizations and Polish citizens. “They have every right to know about the actions of their government, to have a fully functioning UNESCO site which is co-located in two countries. There is an opposition from the European public, MPs from various European countries, and the European Parliament, Italy, and Poland itself. Our today's event is an example of public diplomacy because the actions of a government must not be directly confused with the position of a nation. We are convinced that if Polish citizens were asked about Belovezhskaya Pushcha's future, the answer would be the opposite of what the Morawiecki government has in mind in relation to this particular site,” the deputy minister said.

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Attending the event were representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park, and the Scientific and Practical Center for Bioresources of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. The participants of the meeting discussed the construction of barriers on the border with Belarus, including in Belovezhskaya Pushcha which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, short-term and long-term consequences of barriers installed in specially protected natural areas, and also ways to draw the attention of international organizations to the illegal actions of Poland.

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