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Foreign Ministry of Belarus suspended the activity of the non-governmental organization Dialog, having accused it of espionage.

2005 2005-07-22T10:00:00+0300 1970-01-01T03:00:00+0300 en The Human Rights Center “Viasna” The Human Rights Center “Viasna”
The Human Rights Center “Viasna”

The Foreign Ministry of Belarus decided to close down the Minsk office of the European Foundation "Dialog" registered in Warsaw. The ground was the information that under cover of scientific interests the foundation representatives were allegedly involved with espionage. The leadership of the Dialog Foundation calls such accusations absurd and compares the closure of the foundation with the situation around the Union of Poles in Belarus and the expulsion of the Polish diplomats. The head of the European Foundation Dialog believes that the Belarusian authorities aim to eliminate all Polish organizations in Belarus, reports Radio Liberty.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially confirmed that the activity of the European Foundation Dialog has been banned on the territory of Belarus because it has been performed in violation of the legislation of the Republic of Belarus".

The day before the Panorama program of the Belarusian TV company simply compared the activity by the foundation Dialog with "espionage": according to the television analysts, the foundation was created to perform espionage, and science only acted as cover. The same sources claimed that throughout the existence of the foundation in Belarus Polish "pseudo-scientists established contacts with individuals that have access to confidential documents". By the way, the Foreign Ministry refused to officially confirm this information.

According to the Charter documents, the Foundation Dialog aims to establish cooperation between the communities of scientists from the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, which is why it organizes and finances scientific conferences and seminars. The foundation is based in Bygdoscz, Poland, and cooperates with a number of Belarusian state-run and commercial universities and official institutions. On 4 January 2001 it was the decision of the Foreign Ministry that allowed the opening of the branch of the European Foundation Dialog in Minsk.

The chair of the board of the Foundation Dialog Slavamir Tetslau calls the accusations absurd and connects them with the overall Anti-Polish policies pursued by the Belarusian authorities: "This is part of the bigger affair. And not the last reason here is the increasingly tense diplomatic relations between Warsaw and Minsk: first – the Union of Poles in Belarus, then - deportation of the Polish diplomats. And because we are the only organization, apart from the embassy, that really worked in Belarus, they certainly decided to get down to us. In any case, I have no explanations from the Belarusian Foreign Ministry".

Today in an interview with the First Channel of the Polish Radio the recently deported diplomat Marek Butsko unambiguously stated: further attacks on the Polish organizations still operating in Belarus can be predicted: "Spy-mania in Belarus is reaching its height, and the Belarusian special services are doing all they can to show their capacity".

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