Historical negotiations: Polish Culture Ministry calls Viatrovych "irresponsible"

Poland’s Deputy Minister of Culture believes that "patience is needed" in relations with Ukraine
16:56, 6 November 2017

Agencja Gazeta

Kyiv is entrusted to lead historical negotiations with Warsaw to Ukrainian Institute of National Memory - an organization headed by "an irresponsible person with obtrusive anti-Polish ideas" (Volodymyr Viatrovych). said Poland’s Deputy Minister of Culture Jarosław Sellin on Monday, commenting on accusations against the Minister of Culture and Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Gliński, who during his recent visit to Ukraine "did not dare" to light candles on the graves of the victims of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), reports.

According to him, the main purpose of the visit of Gliński to Ukraine was to try to bring the historic negotiations (in particular, regarding the exhumation of bodies of Polish citizens) to the government level. However, he did not succeed.  

"It is surprising for us why Ukrainian state assigned such an important issue as historical negotiations to a non-governmental institution such as Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, also led by a person who, in my opinion, is irresponsible in the matter of relations with Poland, often has anti-Polish obtrusive ideas, "he said.

"Patience is needed" in relations with Ukraine, he added.

"Historical relations are very complicated, but we must remember the reason," Sellin said.

The agency reminded that Deputy Prime Minister Gliński visited Ukraine in late October. After a meeting with Ukrainian authorities, he said that Poland wants to take negotiations with Ukraine on exhumation and historical monuments to a higher political level. The Ukrainian side allegedly did not agree with such a decision, arguing that the potential of the existing mechanisms is not exhausted, and such issues are solved by the Institute of National Memory and the National Commission of the Ministry of Culture.

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At the same time during his visit to Lviv, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski reminded that Warsaw expects concrete steps from Ukraine. It is a question of searching in the territory of Ukraine and exhuming Polish victims of the Second World War in order to perpetuate their memory.

The Polish side would like to perpetuate the memory of the victims of OUN-UPA in the places of their burial.

With this purpose, Polish Institute of National Memory wants to do exhumation. Ukrainian side is against this, and its consent depends on the restoration of monument to the soldiers of UPA in Hruszowice, dismantled in April this year.

As it was reported earlier Polish government expects more active steps from Ukraine, when it comes to historical reconciliation and dealing with the current manifestations of ethnic hatred. Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said this commenting on the recent statement released by Ukraine’s foreign ministry.

The minister added that Poland ‘has been open to settling the bilateral issues with Ukraine for quite a while already – including solution of the current issues in Ukraine-Poland relations.’

Waszczykowski said Yad Vashem process, which was successfully implemented in Israel, could be a good example of a future mechanism of historical reconciliation for Ukraine and Poland. ‘If Ukraine makes more confident steps than just declarations and statements by the Foreign Ministry, we will, of course, remain open,’ the diplomat concluded.

Related: President of Poland to come to Ukraine with working visit

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