We're always looking for ways to make better. Have an idea? See something that needs fixing? Let us know!

Belarus: Poland
Country Study > Chapter 8 > Foreign Relations > Poland


Once Belarus declared its independence, it signed a number of agreements with Poland, including ones on diplomatic relations and a consular convention, fighting crime, creating a commercial bank to finance bilateral trade, establishing new border-crossing points, and supporting investment opportunities in the two countries. Polish president Lech Walesa and Belarusian parliamentary chairman Stanislaw Shushkyevich signed a bilateral friendship and cooperation treaty during the latter's visit to Warsaw in June 1992. Military and economic agreements were signed in 1993.

In 1994 approximately 300,000 ethnic Belarusians lived in Poland, and 418,000 ethnic Poles lived in Belarus. In neither country are there any obstacles to the ethnic minority's participation in political life. In Belarus most ethnic Poles supported the drive for Belarusian independence and were not seen as a threat to Belarus; the government raised no obstacles to the Poles' acquisition of Belarusian citizenship. The ethnic Belarusians in Poland live mainly in the Bialystok region, one of the poorest areas of the country, but new economic cooperation between Belarus and Poland and specific obligations taken on by Poland are sure to effect changes, if only modestly.

The arena of most disagreements between Poles and Belarusians in the 1990s seemed to be religion. Accusations were made of ethnic Polish dominance of the Roman Catholic Church in Belarus. Polish priests sometimes served in parishes with little or no knowledge of the Belarusian language. But steps were being taken by the Roman Catholic archbishop to counter the more blatant use of Polish political symbols in the churches.

Data as of June 1995

Last Updated: June 1995

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Belarus was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Belarus Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 61 of 81


Click any image to enlarge.

National Flag

(p.) Belarus Ruble (BYR)
Convert to Any Currency


Locator Map