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05WARSAW3613 2005-10-17 14:08:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Warsaw
Cable title:  

POLAND: U.S. POLICY TOWARD BELARUS

Tags:   PREL PGOV PHUM BO PL 
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1. (C) We shared reftel (A) demarche points with Polish MFA
officials October 12 and 13, highlighting the results of our
policy review and our determination to coordinate closely
with partners in support of Belarusian democracy. Polish
officials indicated that Poland shares the broad outlines of
U.S. policy and welcomes our robust approach, which includes
action on a number of fronts. The Poles evinced interest in
our thinking on a possible message to Lukashenko, which we
emphasized would be exceptional and well-coordinated in
advance.



2. (C) Asked about Poland's decision to return its ambassador
to Minsk that week, MFA Deputy Director for Eastern Europe
(DAS equivalent) Wojciech Zajaczkowski confirmed that the
Poles had been looking for a reason to send Ambassador Pawlak
back to Belarus, and that the Lukashenko regime's willingness
to host the opposition candidate selection provided them with
that excuse. "Recalling the ambassador sent an important
signal," Zajaczkowski stated, "but over time it became clear
that his absence was hurting us more than the regime."
Zajaczkowski noted also that Belarusian state security chief
Neviglas appears to have kept a promise to Polish NSA Bahr
(ref B) and reined in the KGB a bit (although anti-Polish
attacks continue to appear in state-run Belarusian media, he
said).



3. (C) Zajaczkowski and MFA Belarus desk officer Mariusz
Krajewski inquired about our reaction to Belarusian PM
Sidorski's recent meetings in Vilnius, which both
characterized as "surprising." Drawing on our earlier read of
ref (C), we reported that we and the UK (as EU presidency)
had demarched the Lithuanians and underscored our concern
about this breach of common policy. We explained that the
episode reinforces the importance of maintaining a closely
coordinated and unified approach to such contacts.



4. (C) On the external broadcasting project, Zajaczkowski
welcomed news of our decision to provide some initial funding
to ERB (European Radio for Belarus), intimating that our
support could help tip the Polish government's tender and its
$300,000 in support toward ERB. Informed of the Czech
government's intention to fund ERB as well, Zajaczkowski
indicated that the Poles would approach the remaining
Visegrad Group member states for similar pledges the
following week. Zajaczkowski stated that he regretted the
technical delays created by the tender process, but assured
us that he remains confident that the new Polish government
(due to enter office by the end of October) will back the
radio project "enthusiastically."
ASHE