MINSK, 26 September (BelTA) – Belarus does not demand that Poland should reimburse the damage it caused, though Belarus has indisputable evidence proving the damange, member of the House of Representatives of the National Assembly of Belarus Sergei Klishevich told a BelTA correspondent.
“If you look at the history of our relations with the Polish state, you will see that Poland caused material and non-material damage to our people, our territories. This happened not only in the 1920s-1930s but in other historical periods as well. Yet, now we are talking about the 1920s and the 1930s. And the president was right when he said that today we do not demand any indemnity from anyone for the damage Belarus suffered. We know that not only the Poles, but also the French, other states sent their troops into the territory of Belarus, tormented our people and hampered our spiritual, scientific, technical, industrial development. At the same time, today our so-called partners (although one can hardly call them this way) must understand that if there are such encroachments and threats against us - we can also calculate the damage they caused. Moreover, some historians have already done this,” Sergei Klishevich said.
All these facts do not require proof, the MP noted. “We have no doubts, and historians, no matter what political views they stick to, do not even have any disputes about the fact that during the occupation of our territory in the 1920s and the 1930s the Polish leadership deliberately hampered our development, turned us into an agricultural backyard of the Polish state and a market for its goods. This has been proven by massive evidence that was documented. These documents are kept, among other things, in our archives. We must closely study this issue, and, if necessary, make it a point in our diplomatic, economic and political relations with Poland,” he stressed. “But I am sure that it won't come to that for the simple reason that elections will be held in Poland very soon. I am sure that sensible politicians who enjoy the real support of the Polish people will come to power, and there will be no such crazy ideas as demanding something from Belarus or other states,” he said.
“Today, our task as historians is to know these facts, establish where and what damage was caused by the Polish regime. And our opponents must understand that, if necessary, we can also raise these issues with the political leadership of Poland, if it keeps acting in the same way, not to mention territorial issues that are also on the agenda of the historical community and are discussed in professional circles. Yet, I do not want to delve into these issues now because Belarusians want to live peacefully together and look to the future, and not constantly take out stones from the past and throw them at each other,” the parliamentarian explained.
We respect the historical and political choice of Poland and ask for the same attitude towards us, Sergei Klishevich stated. “Yet, if they treat us like a non-state that has not yet been formed, according to some Polish leaders, we can present evidence that proves the violation of all laws, norms and rules to the Polish political leadership in order to demand compensation,” he added, “Indeed, the policy that Poland implemented in the 1920s-1930s held our state back, and quite a lot of effort was invested to help Western Belarus catch up with the BSSR in terms of cultural, industrial, and social development. Therefore, this evidence is indisputable. But again, I repeat, we, unlike the Polish state, act decently. And we demand the same respectful attitude to our choice and our history,” the MP said.