12:49 09.02.2018

Ukrainian Radical Party MPs picket Polish parliament building in Warsaw

Ukrainian MPs from the Radical Party faction are picketing the building of the Sejm of Poland in Warsaw in protest against the adoption of a new law on the Institute of National Remembrance, which foresees, in particular, punishment for denial of "crimes of Ukrainian nationalists."

"Right now our faction is picketing the Sejm of the Republic of Poland in Warsaw with the demand to abolish the anti-Ukrainian law and stop pursuing for the sake of Moscow the policy of hatred against Ukrainians and the harassment of our peoples," faction leader wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.

The picket is also broadcast live on Facebook. The rally is attended by more than a dozen people who stand on the sidewalk, holding flags of Ukraine, as well as posters with the inscriptions "Without independent Ukraine there will be no independent Poland" and "Polish laws = Russian tanks." A Polish police car is located near the venue of the rally. The event does not attract the attention of passers-by.

At the same time, on Friday, February 9, a plenary meeting is held in the Verkhovna Rada from 10.00 to 14.00.

As reported, early on February 1, the Senate of Poland adopted without any amendments the law on the Institute of National Remembrance, which foresees, in particular, punishment for "crimes of Ukrainian nationalists." The bill was supported by 57 senators, mainly from the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) Party, 23 voted against the document, and two abstained.

Amendments to the law envisage fines or imprisonment for up to three years for "sharing responsibility before the Polish people or the state, including for crimes committed by the Third Reich." In addition, the document envisages punishment for denial of the "Volyn massacre" and the use of the expression "Polish death camps" in relation to the camps that were located in Poland during the Second World War.

On February 6, President of Poland Andrzej Duda signed amendments to the law on the Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation. Thus, the changes previously approved by the parliament came into force. Earlier, Duda said that he planned to appeal to the Constitutional Court of Poland with the request to assess the innovations.

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said that he was concerned about the decision of the Senate of Poland.

On February 6, the Verkhovna Rada adopted a statement expressing disappointment and concern over the adoption of amendments to the law on the Institute of National Remembrance - Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation and other legislative acts, and also called on Duda to intervene in the situation.

"We are urging President of the Republic of Poland [Andrzej Duda] to exercise his constitutional powers and, together with the Sejm and Senate of the Republic of Poland, to return balance, rationality and well-wishing to Ukrainian-Polish relations," the statement says.

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