GRODNO, 24 February (BelTA) – A picket protesting against the Polish government's policy took place outside the consulate general of Poland in Grodno, BelTA has learned.
Over 50 Grodno residents turned up for the picket. They carried picket signs with slogans: “Poles of Belarus oppose the official policy of Warsaw”, “Poland must get off the American horse”, “Poland + NATO = Aggression”, “We will not give away Belarus”.
Kazimir Znaidinsky, Chairman of the Board of the Grodno city branch of the public association Union of Poles in Belarus, told BelTA: “We've come here to express our civil stance. We disagree with the closure of the border crossing Bobrowniki. We, Poles could easily go to Poland in the past, to visit relatives, graves, to honor memory of the dead, but now it is difficult. There is no hostility between common Poles and common Belarusians. It is all political maneuvering at the top on the Polish side.”
Kazimir Znaidinsky mentioned a vivid example: “A resident of Bialystok came to Belarus not so long ago, on Christmas. He made an error and refueled his car with diesel instead of gasoline. Of course, the car wouldn't start. The engine died right outside the Polish house in Dzerzhinskogo Street. We helped push the car to a car mechanic. The driver was very grateful to us. There are no contradictions between ordinary people. We hope that everything will get back to normal soon.”
“Border closure is a crime. We have relatives, common culture, tourism. And Poles are excellent people while their leaders are bad, mildly speaking. They should listen to their people and to us in Belarus,” the picket participant Vladimir Tyutyunikov said.
Irina Golaido opined: “We want to live like friends. Politicians cannot sort things out while ordinary people have to suffer. And everyone should stand up for themselves. Our nation speaks up in favor of not only the wellbeing of Belarus. We are worried about neighbors as well. This is why we've come here. Many relatives live on different sides of the border. But now the border has been locked. Is it right? It's like me coming to my mother's while some relative of mine locks the door and tells me I can no longer go there. This is how I see it. The door should always be open for communication.”
Young Grodno residents also presented their stance. “We express a position that is as friendly as possible to other countries, to our brotherly nations. We are against their governments closing access for communication between relatives. We are in favor of open borders,” Ruslan Borisevich said.