According to reports coming, the Belarusian consulate in Bialystok has stopped its work on visa-related matters. The reason is a diplomatic scandal, as a result of which the Polish Foreign Ministry expelled two Belarusian consuls five days ago.
In Poland, Belarus is represented by three diplomatic departments: an embassy operates in Warsaw, and consulates in Bialystok and Biala Podlaska. The Foreign Ministry of Belarus confirmed that the work of the consulate in Bialystok has indeed been suspended.
“At present, due to the circumstances that have arisen, the acceptance of documents at the Consulate General of Belarus in Bialystok has been suspended for several days. The Belarusian side is making every effort to quickly restore the normal working capacity of the consular office to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Belarusian citizens. We hope that in the coming days, the functioning will be restored to the required extent,” said Anatoly Glaz, the press secretary of the Foreign Ministry.
The embassy in Warsaw and the consulate in Biala Podlaska are operating normally.
On 1 March, Poland celebrates the Cursed Soldiers National Remembrance Day, established in 2011. Members of the anti-Soviet underground groups who fought for the country’s independence in the second half of the 1940s. Among them were the soldiers of the detachment of Romuald Rajs, who burned five villages in Eastern Poland, where Orthodox Belarusians lived. Then 79 people died.
On 9 March, Polish Embassy’s Charge d’Affaires Marcin Wojciechowski was summoned to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry to express a protest over the participation of the consul in Brest Jerzy Timofejuk in an event dedicated to the “day of the cursed soldiers”. The Foreign Ministry said that by participating in this event, the Polish representative violated the norms of international law. The consul was suggested to leave the territory of Belarus.
In response, Poland recognized a diplomat from the Belarusian embassy in Warsaw as persona non grata. On 11 March, Marcin Wojciechowski was summoned to the Belarusian Foreign Ministry again. The Polish side was handed a note with a proposal to the head and consul of the Consulate General of Poland in Grodno to leave the territory of Belarus within 48 hours.
On 12 March, the Polish Foreign Ministry expelled two Belarusian consuls – the consul general of Belarus in Bialystok and the consul of Belarus in Warsaw.