Polish FM urges Ukraine to ‘take concrete steps’ amid tensions over history
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland is open to cooperation with Ukraine, but expects authorities in that country to “take concrete steps” amid tensions over historical issues, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski has said.
Polish FM Witold Waszczykowski briefs reporters at the Polish Consulate General in Lviv on Saturday. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Speaking in the Ukrainian city of Lviv on Saturday, Waszczykowski urged the country’s authorities to “unblock” work by a team of Poles searching for the remains of Polish victims of wartime crimes in that country.
Waszczykowski told reporters at the Polish consulate-general in Lviv that he welcomed a statement by the Ukrainian government “that there is no anti-Polish sentiment in Ukraine.”
On Thursday, when asked about tensions between Poland and Ukraine over historical issues, Waszczykowski said that officials in Warsaw were planning to ban “individuals with an extremely anti-Polish approach” from entering the country.
Waszczykowski told public broadcaster TVP1 at the time that unless Ukraine changed its approach to issues important to Poland, it would face consequences. If no agreement is reached, he said, authorities in Poland will “launch procedures that will not allow people who hold extreme anti-Polish positions to come to Poland.”
He suggested the ban would apply to Ukrainian officials who do not allow Polish experts to continue their search and exhumation work in Ukraine and who are preventing continued work to renovate sites in that country of significance to Poland.
Forgiving and asking for forgiveness
In response to that statement, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said on Friday that there was no anti-Polish sentiment in Ukraine and that disputes over history should be resolved in line with the Christian principle of “forgiving and asking for forgiveness.”
Waszczykowski told reporters in Lviv on Saturday that Poland welcomed the assurances that there was no anti-Polish sentiment in Ukraine and that the people of Ukraine were friendly to Poland.
"We see this as well, but obviously we also see the different incidents and individuals who are not being very friendly," he said.
Waszczykowski was speaking during a two-day working visit to Lviv, which is home to many ethnic Poles and was part of Poland before borders shifted after World War II.
Source: IAR, PAP