02:58 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk

    Polish premier vows support for Belarusian opposition

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    Polish Premier Donald Tusk said on Tuesday his country would continue to support the Belarusian opposition.

    Polish Premier Donald Tusk said on Tuesday his country would continue to support the Belarusian opposition.

    "We will support them in order to conduct dialog in accordance with democratic standards, not to [President] Alexander Lukashenko's dictation," Tusk told reporters after a meeting with Belarusian opposition leaders.

    He also said democratic changes were a precondition for financial aid from Warsaw to Belarus, where frequent protests coincided with a sharp downturn in living standards. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said financial aid will be possible only after free and fair elections are held in the country.

    A number of jailed Belarusian opposition members were released in early September as Lukashenko, labeled by the White House as "Europe's last dictator," seeks to patch up ties with the West.

    Relations between Belarus and the West have sunk to new lows after a brutal crackdown on protesters following the December 19 presidential vote, which Lukashenko won with 80%. International observers said the contest was deeply flawed.

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