Location Poland Poland

Ukrainian official banned from entering Poland

Poland’s foreign ministry has banned Volodymyr Viatrovych, the head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, from entering Poland, according to the Dziennik Gazeta Prawna daily.
Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told journalists: “No comment, we are not giving any names for now”.

Last week, when asked about tensions over the troubled history shared by Poland and Ukraine, Waszczykowski said that officials in Warsaw were planning to ban “individuals with an extremely anti-Polish approach” from entering the country.

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.

On Thursday, Viatrovych claimed Soviet secret police had been honoured at the Warsaw monument known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Viatrovych was referring to the victims of massacres of Poles carried out by Ukrainian nationalists during World War Two, saying that the victims were communists who had the blood of innocent Poles on their hands, according to the IAR news agency.

Polish President Andrzej Duda has said that it is “unacceptable” for people in Ukraine “who practically openly have anti-Polish views” to hold important positions.

Duda said: «I expect President Petro Poroshenko and his colleagues, Prime Minister [Volodymyr] Groysman, [to ensure] that people who openly proclaim nationalist and anti-Polish views will not occupy important positions in Ukrainian politics, because such people do not build relations between our countries; they destroy them.”

Reaction of Ukrainian officials was painful.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has proposed a special meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland to help ease tension in bilateral relations.

The committee, headed by officials appointed by the two presidents, is expected to prevent problems from escalating and to boost the countries’ strategic partnership.

The Ukrainian leader said he wanted to resolve differences “in a civilised fashion”.

Poroshenko’s spokesperson, Sviatloslav Ceholko, said that recent statements by Polish politicians raised public concern and could not be left unanswered.


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