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News

08 September 2016, 17:57

Parliament's Statement on Resolutions on Volyn Tragedy approved by Polish Senate and Sejm on July 7 and 22, 2016

( Information Department of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Secretariat )

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine was disappointed and deeply concerned over the decisions of the Polish Senate (Parliament's Upper House) and later of the Polish Sejm (Lower House) to approve the Resolution dated July 22, 2016 "On recognizing the mass ethnic cleansing of Poles in western Ukraine during the World War II, known as the Volyn massacre, as genocide."

According to the Ukrainian Parliament, the Resolution gives inaccurate political and legal estimate to the tragic chapter of the Ukrainian-Polish history, in particular, to the events that took place in Volyn.

The Verkhovna Rada draws attention to the fact that Ukraine and Poland have had both remarkable examples of joint fight for freedom and those of bloody confrontations.

The Ukrainian Parliament states that all victims on the territories of the two countries must be commemorated at the equal level.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine notes that over the past decades, Ukraine and the Republic of Poland have done much for mutual forgiveness and reconciliation and commemoration of innocent Ukrainians and Poles killed during the conflict in 1940s. The two countries have given their joint estimation to those historic events within different official documents, in particular:

- Statement by the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland "On Concorde and Reconciliation" of May 21, 1997;

- Statement by the Parliaments of Ukraine and Poland on the 60th Anniversary of the Volyn Tragedy dated July 10, 2003;

- Joint Statement by the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland "On Reconciliation on the 60th Anniversary of the Volyn Tragedy" dated July 11, 2003;

- Address by Greek-Catholic bishops of Ukraine and Roman-Catholic bishops of Poland on the Act of mutual forgiveness and reconciliation of June 2005;

- Joint Statement by the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Wisla event dated April 27, 2007;

- Joint Declaration between the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church and the Roman-Catholic Church on the 70th anniversary of the Volyn crime dated June 28, 2013;

- Declaration by the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland on the 25th Anniversary of Ukraine's Independence dated August 24, 2016.

In view of the aforementioned, the Ukrainian Parliament considers the decision of the Polish Sejm to declare July 11 the National Day of Volyn Genocide Victims Remembrance as a manifestation of politicization of tragic chapters of the Ukrainian-Polish history.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine notes that the adoption of the Resolutions by the Senate and Sejm of the Republic of Poland took place along with the anti-Ukrainian events that took place in the territory of Poland.

The Verkhovna Rada draws attention of the Polish parliament members, all Polish authorities and the society to the fact that the anti-Ukrainian actions and triggering of anti-Ukrainian moods take place at the time of the most considerable sensitivity of the Ukrainian State suffering from the aggressive actions of the Russian Federation. In its war the aggressor uses historic issues — in particular, the events of 1940s — as one of the elements of the war against our State.

The Ukrainian Parliament considers that the adoption of the abovementioned Resolutions by the Parliament of Poland imperiled political and diplomatic achievements and efforts of the two states and peoples aimed at mutual forgiveness, reconciliation and commemoration of innocent victims: Ukrainians and Poles.

Therefore, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine condemns unilateral actions of the Senate and Sejm aimed at the revision of positive results of cooperation achieved over the past several decades.

The Parliament of Ukraine considers that unilateral political estimates to the historic events may trigger conflicts between our societies and states and radicalize both Ukrainian and Polish societies, which in turn will weaken the combined efforts of our citizens aimed at the development of Ukraine and Poland.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine considers that the only way to reconciliation lies in joint acknowledgement of the facts and circumstances of the history, introduction of personal responsibility for the crimes against humanity and military crimes as well as Christian forgiveness.

The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine states that the success of future Ukrainian-Polish relations lies at the level of agreed formula of mutual understanding between Ukraine and the Republic of Poland.

In view of the said, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine:

- calls on historians to keep professional dialogue in order to expose all unclear facts and circumstances of the history on the basis of authentic archive materials;

- calls on today's and future generations of the Ukrainians and Poles to continue strategic partnership and not to yield the attempts of some political forces to manipulate with the past events contrary to the interests of the Ukrainian and Polish people;

- suggests that its Polish colleagues stop politicization of the tragic chapters of the Ukrainian-Polish history and focus on constructive development of cooperation between Ukraine and Poland to strengthen partnership in democratic Europe on the basis of the European values.

A total of 247 members of the Ukrainian Parliament supported the Statement of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine No. 5095.