When asked whether Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski does want to close Belsat down, she said: “In fact, probably the latest official response in this case is ‘no’.” But the steps taken by the ministry may well result in the liquidation of the TV station, she added referring to the ministry’s plan to reduce financing by 2/3.
During the conversation, a very specific question was put: why the Polish government should mantain a TV channel for Belarusians? According to Romaszewska-Guzy, one can give several reasons – from moral to completely pragmatic ones.
“Speaking about Belarus – against the background of Poland – it is crucial that ‘Belarus survive [as an independent state] and we never have the border with Russia. We are also against a big Russian military base on the Bug in Brest [not far from Poland]’. Helping to build the national and state consciousness of Belarusians would be our contribution to it. And such was the role of Belsat TV,” the director stressed.
In mid-December, Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy told portal Wpolityce.pl with reference to unofficial information that the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs intended to reduce reduce financing the television channel Belsat TV by 2/3 and stop its broadcast in the Belarusian language. On a practical level, such changes would mean the closure of Belsat, the only independent Belarusian-language TV channel, which has become a permanent support of public opinion and national identity of Belarusians.
On December 18, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Wazczykowski voiced the ministry’s plans of Belsat TV transition to a web mode and its journalists’ transfer to TVP Polonia.