Waszczykowski on Belsat: ‘I do not want to, but I have to’

In an interview with TVN24, head of the Polish foreign policy ministry disclosed new arguments for ‘Belsat’ funding cuts. At the same time the channel director still has not received an official document about the size of grants.

On Thursday, the TV channel TVN24 asked the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski, if the government intended to make “Belsat” a victim in the Warsaw-Minsk relationship.

“I do not know anything about that, said Waszczykowski. – The Polish government does not own “Belsat”, and nor do I, it is just one of the donors”.

On the issue of reducing the funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he stated that “I do not want, but I have to — as the literature classic said”.

Earlier, in an interview with the Wprost magazine, the Minister stated that limiting “Belsat” broadcasting would be part of the agreement with the Belarusian authorities.

Today, however, the head of the Polish Foreign Ministry said that this is due to the international situation and the value challenges facing Polish diplomacy. Among them Waszczykowski named the creation of new consulates, call center for Poles living in the UK or an increase in aid for Syrian refugees in the Middle East.

“Now we are limiting only donations, but we are not the owners of “Belsat”. “Belsat” has the ability to carry out reforms, it may seek other donors — in the Polish government or in the business circles, as well as donors abroad. We cannot decide the fate of “Belsat”, said Waszczykowski.

In addition, the Minister added that the Belarusian authorities had promised to broadcast in the country Polish TV channels “Polonia” and “Culture”.

Recently, however, the press secretary of the Belarusian Foreign Ministry Dzmitry Mironchyk announced that the Belarusian authorities are only planning to analyze the possibility of including Polish television into Belarusian cable networks pack.

The struggle for “Belsat” continues.