Ambassador Bartlomiej Zdaniuk: This is not migrant crisis on EU borders, but an episode of hybrid warfare

The Belarusian authorities rejected three convoys of humanitarian aid for the people used as “rams” to break the EU’s gates and the Europeans’ solidarity. If they had cared about the people, they would have accepted the food and clothes offered to those who were actually brought to “punish” Poland for its solidarity with the Belarusians who didn’t recognize the results of last year’s elections in Belarus, as the whole world did, Poland’s Ambassador to Moldova Bartlomiej Zdaniuk, said in a public debate hosted by IPN.

He noted this is revenge for a situation that exists in Belarus. “But we didn’t create it as they say: 25-year administration is enough time for establishing a relationship of trust with the own people,” stated the ambassador.

Even if he avoided talking about the interests of the allies of Belarus in the conflict, Bartlomiej Zdaniuk said they see what “integration” processes take place eastwards Poland and what “interesting”, hybrid agreements are signed. The question is, how independent is each of the partners,” said the diplomat, making it clear that Russia eventually helped Lukashenko to ignore the problems that emerged after the unrecognized presidential elections in Belarus and the debt is now repaid in informational-propagandistic form and in other ways.

As to Poland’s allies, he said they bank on the solidarity of NATO and the EU. “It is a very important thing. This hybrid warfare is aimed at thwarting our efforts to build a common position. It is not easy to maintain solidarity. Even if some of the partners took particular actions, it is important to realize, as President Andjei Duda said, that we will not accept a decision referring to us without pronouncing on this first”.

As regards the ways of solving the conflict at the border between Poland and Belarus, the ambassador said the stopping of hostilities is in the interest of Poland, but the conflict is not yet over. “About 200 attempts to force the border were made yesterday. Another state of affairs can be reached only by the solidarity of our partners. We will not give a wrong example”.

Asked what lessons he can formulate for Moldova, Bartlomiej Zdaniuk noted it is important for the state to be functional and be able to cope with such problems and challenges that can appear. The more efficient is the state, the greater is its contribution and vice versa. The more vulnerable and fragile is the country, the greater is the authorities’ incapacity to react to imposed situations and the more disastrous are the results. Moldova’s people clearly stated their wish to have a functional, efficient state and this includes a multitude of senses, starting from control over the whole territory, for example. As development partners, the Republic of Moldova and Poland make effort to increase the functionality of the state.

The public debate entitled “Migrant Crisis in Belarus: reasons, dangers, solutions” is the 214th installment of the series “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates”. The IPN’s project is implemented with the assistance of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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