Myasnikovich's visit to Poland may give a boost to Belarusian-European relations
The historical visit of Mikhail Myasnikovich to Poland has evidenced improvement in normalization of bilateral relations. Minsk regards Poland not only as an economically and politically important neighbour but also as a potential advocate of Belarusian interests in the European Union, hence, the Belarusian diplomacy pays significant attention to Poland.
On February 11th - 14th, 2019, the Belarusian parliamentary delegation headed by the chairman of the Council of the Republic visited Poland and held meetings with the Polish leadership, including the president, the prime minister and the chairmen of the parliament. The visit has evidenced not only Belarus’ persistence (the visit was postponed several times as Poland could not ensure all requested meetings), but also Poland’s interest in improving bilateral relations.
Major outcomes of the visit included: Poland’s readiness to organize visits of Visegrad and Eastern Partnership Ministers to Minsk, an agreement on resuming high-level contacts, and an agreement on social security.
The end of Myasnkovich’s visit coincided with the information about a sharp reduction in funding for Charter97.org, an opposition website, by the Polish Foundation for International Solidarity, which Minsk had been seeking for many years.
The Belarusian tactics of improving bilateral relations with EU member states amid stagnating negotiations with Brussels bore some fruits. Warsaw stated its interest in normalizing Belarusian-European relations in words and was ready to step up cooperation with Minsk in many areas.