Polish prime minister reassures director over Belsat future

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo told Belsat TV Director Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy on Thursday that the Warsaw-based Belarusian-language television channel would not be shut down.

Writing in a Facebook post on January 5, Ms. Romaszewska-Guzy said that the prime minister had promised that "there is no threat to Belsat's existence." "We will spend the next month establishing further rules of cooperation with the foreign ministry," she said.

The executive described her meeting with the prime minister as positive and friendly, but gave no other details.

In December, the Polish government confirmed that it would drastically cut funding for Belsat TV. Reports also had it that Warsaw may consider shutting down the channel altogether in return for the distribution in Belarus of a Polish TV channel intended for ethnic Poles living abroad.

Speaking to reporters in Minsk on Thursday, Dzmitry Mironchyk, spokesman for the Belarusian foreign ministry, said that no agreement had yet been reached about the possible distribution of such a channel in Belarus.

Belsat TV started broadcasting on December 10, 2007 under an agreement between Polish Public Television (TVP) and the Polish foreign ministry.

The channel describes its mission as providing "accurate and independent coverage of events in Belarus, Europe and the rest of the world."

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