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    Poland helps Belarusians. Since the summer of 2020, nearly 180,000 visas have been issued

    Since the beginning of the protests in Belarus, Poland has issued nearly 180,000 visas to Belarusian citizens, of which over 12,000 were the so-called humanitarian visas. “Many people feel insecure for political as well as economic reasons. The economic crisis, caused by Alexander Lukashenko with Soviet-style management, also means that more and more young Belarusians want to go to Poland,” Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcin Przydacz told PAP.

    Protests in Belarus began at the end of May 2020, even before the presidential elections. Opponents of President Aleksander Lukashenko protested in the streets of Belarusian cities, and after the elections recognized by both the opposition and most countries and international organizations as falsified, a wave of demonstrations swept across the country. The protests were brutally suppressed, and thousands of those who participated were imprisoned, persecuted, and repressed by the Lukashenko regime.

    During the increasing wave of repression against Belarusian civil society, several visa programs were created in Poland, including changes to the humanitarian visa regulations. People with such visas may, from December last year, legally work in Poland without additional permits. These visas are issued for arrival for humanitarian reasons, due to the interests of the state, or due to international obligations.

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