'Ukrainian Institute of National Memory that provided the functioning of the Ukrainian part of the forum does not see the possibilities to continue it in the usual format. We cannot guarantee the preservation of the freedom of speech for the Ukrainian researchers in the territory of Poland or even the security of the stay there. We appeal to the Polish colleagues, following the values of the open dialogue and free access to the sources, with the offer to continue the historical discussions in Ukraine as there are no restrictions or political dictates towards the estimation of the past', the message said.
According to the representatives of the Ukrainian Institute, the adoption of the new law on the Institute of National Remembrance of Poland that provides the criminal responsibility for the denial of the crimes of the Ukrainian nationalists in 1925-1950 years essentially restricts the space for the discussions and dialogue of the historians of both countries.
It is noted that five sessions of the forum took place since 2015 (twice a year, interchangeably in Ukraine and Poland).
'The historical dialogue is the basis of the overcoming of the consequences of the past conflicts between the nations. The discussions between the historians activate new research and they are the method of the verification of the existing representation of the past, they remove the harmful myths, stereotypes and prejudices from the social conscience that are the obstacle of the good relation in modern days', the Institute of National Memory of Ukraine thinks.
This is the reason for the Institute of National Memory to initiate the organization of the Ukrainian-Polish forum of historians.
As we reported Polish leader Andrzej Duda has signed the bill with amendments to the law about the Institute of the National Memory in Poland. They stipulate criminal responsibility for denial of the Volyn Massacre of the 1940s and forbid the propaganda of the 'Banderite ideology'
It also provides the criminal penalty for public accusations of Poland of crimes during Holocaust, of helping Nazi Germany, of military crimes or crimes against humanity. The bill forbids to use the combination of words “Polish death camp” when describing concentration camps that were on the territory of Poland. Any citizen of the country, including foreigners that breached the law will have to pay a fine or imprisoned for up to three years.