Polish, Ukrainian FMs discuss bilateral relations

2018-01-10 20:26 aktualizacja: 2018-09-26, 18:45
Polish, Ukrainian FMs discuss bilateral relations. Photo.: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Polish, Ukrainian FMs discuss bilateral relations. Photo.: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
The Polish and Ukrainian foreign ministers, Jacek Czaputowicz and Pavlo Klimkin, discussed bilateral relations over the phone on Wednesday, including historical issues, the Polish Foreign Ministry wrote in a press release.

Minister Klimkin congratulated his new Polish counterpart, Jacek Czaputowicz, who became Poland's FM on Tuesday, the ministry wrote, adding that the two had discussed the topic of Polish-Ukrainian cooperation in connection with Poland's non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council in 2018-2019.

"Minister Czaputowicz confirmed Poland's commitment to Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and stressed that Poland will continue to support Ukraine's European aspirations."

During the talk, Minister Czaputowicz also expressed hope that difficult historical issues "in Poland and Ukraine's relations would be solved as soon as possible."

A number of incidents related to Polish national memorial sites and diplomatic missions have taken place in Ukraine over the past year, including an attack on the Consulate General in Lutsk, as well as the devastation of a monument to Poles murdered in Huta Pieniacka.

All these events were condemned by the Kiev authorities. In many cases, they have assessed that behind the acts stood a "third party" striving to ignite a conflict between Poland and Ukraine.

The Polish side demanded more effective actions by Ukrainian law enforcement agencies against the incidents' perpetrators.

The dispute between Warsaw and Kiev regarding historical issues intensified in the spring of last year, when the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance forbade the search for and exhumation of the remains of Polish victims of wars and conflicts on the territory of Ukraine. The ban was issued after the dismantling of a monument in Hruszowice, south-east Poland commemorating the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), a World War II nationalist military formation responsible for killing thousands of Polish civilians, and earlier cases of destruction of Ukrainian commemoration sites in Poland.

In November of last year, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Witold Waszczykowski announced that Poland's policy towards Ukraine in terms of historical issues would be corrected. He also stated that Poland was launching "procedures that will not allow people who remain extremely anti-Polish, to come to Poland."

In December, the Polish and Ukrainian Presidents, Andrzej Duda and Petro Poroshenko, agreed that they would take steps to lift the ban on Polish exhumations in Ukraine as soon as possible. The problem is to be dealt with by a joint committee headed by both countries' deputy PMs. (PAP)