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WARSAW: Poland on Wednesday announced the expulsion of a Belarusian diplomat in a row over Polish troops who fought against the Nazi and Soviet occupations but also targeted Belarusians.

The move follows the expulsion by Belarus of the Polish consul to the city of Brest for taking part in an event honouring these resistance fighters, known as the Polish “cursed soldiers”.

“Following the unfriendly and unfounded move by the Belarusian authorities, Poland has declared persona non grata a diplomat from the Belarusian embassy in Warsaw,” Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz said on Twitter.

The “cursed soldiers” initially fought against German occupation and later turned against Soviet occupiers, often acting violently against non-Poles, especially Belarusians.

Their resistance against Soviet power lasted into the 1950s.

Relations between Belarus and its neighbour Poland have also been strained recently after protests broke out last August against the disputed re-election of Belarus’s strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko.

EU member nation Poland has sheltered Belarusian activists that have fled across the border to escape a crackdown on the opposition.

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