Belarus ‘cynical’, ‘ignorant’ picking Sep 17 for People’s Unity Day: Lithuanian FM

Lithuania’s MFA stood in solidarity with Poland backing its protest against the decision of Alexander Lukashenko’s regime to announce September 17 Belarus’ national holiday.

Polish MFA slams Minsk over national holiday proclamation

Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has reacted on the declaration of the Belarusian authorities on the establishment of a new holiday called...

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania stands in solidarity with Poland, which expressed its protest over the current decision of the Belarusian regime to designate September 17 as the national holiday in Belarus, and strongly opposes the distortion of historical facts,” the ministry’s official release reads.

“The 17th of September is one of the most painful dates in Poland’s history. Minsk’s decision to designate the 17th of September as the Day of People’s Unity shows that the current Belarusian government has a cynical and distorting attitude towards the historical memory, and ignores the crimes committed by the two most brutal totalitarian regimes of the 20th century", Lithuanian FM Gabrielius Landsbergis said, while expressing solidarity with Poland.

The press release further reads: “On September 17, 1939, the Soviet Union cunningly invaded the neighboring Poland and occupied the country’s territory assigned to it by the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols, thus striking a second blow to Poland just a few weeks after the invasion by Nazi Germany. The inhabitants of the territories occupied by the Soviet Union, including Belarusians themselves, were immediately subjected to severe repression. The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact divided central and eastern Europe into spheres of influence and was a precondition to start WWII. During this war, Europe, and the Belarusian nation in particular, suffered enormous losses and casualties.”

“The glorification of this day shows disdain for victims of Nazi and Soviet totalitarian regimes, attempts to cut the roots of a European Belarus and to destroy the European heritage of Belarus that has been created together with Lithuanians, Poles and Ukrainians, and cherished for centuries. Such a decision can only be seen as a cynical attempt by the Belarusian regime to sow discord among the Belarusian people and their neighbours, and an obvious falsification of history for certain short-sighted political purposes,” the release reads.

Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs had reacted with indignation to the Monday declaration of the Belarusian authorities on the establishment of a new holiday called “People’s Unity Day” on September 17. Poland’s MFA had stated that basing the historical policy of Belarus on the legacy of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was a gesture that fitted well in the Russian narrative.