Ukraine's foreign ministry counts upon Polish Senate's political wisdom amid considering bill on 'Bandera ideology'
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine is deeply concerned about the adoption by the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of a bill on amendments to the Law on the Institute of National Memory - Commission on the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish People and Some Other Laws."
"We expect that the Senate of the Republic of Poland, which will soon consider this bill, will demonstrate wisdom of policy on issues that could affect the development of bilateral relations. Recognizing the sensitivity of problems of historic memory in the life of Ukrainians and Poles, we urge the Polish side to be open and constructive in further development of Ukrainian-Polish relations," the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published on Friday night.
The Foreign Ministry also expressed regret that the Ukrainian topic is once again used in domestic politics in Poland, and the tragic pages of the joint historical past continue to be politicized.
"We unalterably do not perceive another attempt to impose a one-sided interpretation of historic events, including the incorrect use of the name of a part of the territory of modern Ukraine in the official document of the Republic of Poland," the statement says.
The Foreign Ministry also reminded the authors of the draft of this legislative act that the Ukrainians, like the Poles, extremely suffered from totalitarian regimes during the Second World War, and also selflessly struggled for the freedom of their country. In this context, of particular concern is the intention to portray the Ukrainians exclusively as "criminal nationalists" and "collaborators of the Third Reich."
According to the Polish media, on Friday, January 26, a package of bills passed its third reading at the Polish Sejm, which provides for changes to the law on the National Memory Institute. There was a bill banning the so-called "Bandera Ideology" in Poland among them. The majority of parliamentarians voted for the bills: 279 out of 414. All the deputies of PiS, Kukiz'15 and PSL voted for the draft. The document was supported by several opposition members of the Polish parliament.
The adopted piece of legislation concerns the definition of crimes of Ukrainian nationalists and Ukrainian organizations cooperating with the Third Reich, as well as the possibility of launching, in accordance with Article 55 of the Law on the Institute of National Remembrance, criminal proceedings against persons who deny these crimes.
There is a fine or imprisonment for up to three years for the denial of "Bandera supporters' crimes."