Tension between Warsaw and Kiev is escalating against a background of diplomatic scandal. The Polish authorities have banned a number of Ukrainian officials from entering the country. Although Poland’s Foreign Minister, Witold Waszczykowski, has refused to disclose the list of persons on the blacklist, it is known that the ban directly concerns individuals who are strong supporters of the activities of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.
“We do not disclose the surnames and number of people, and the sphere this concerns,” Waszczykowski said in an interview with Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. When asked to comment on the refusal to allow entry into Poland for the Head of the Ukrainian National Remembrance Institute, Volodymyr Viatrovych, Waszczykowski said, “this is a person who promotes deeply anti-human, anti-European values.”
Earlier, the Undersecretary of State for Security, Consular Affairs and Eastern Policy, Bartosz Cichocki, who is based at the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, commented on the ban, stating that it concerns “government officials who take certain decisions, which not only directly offend the feelings of Polish people and attempt to challenge the truth about historical crimes such as massacres of Poles in Volhinya, but glorify the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, who closely cooperated with the Nazis”. The diplomat added that Poland is not “obliged to inform those, who are on the stop-list”.
In the light of the escalating diplomatic row between the two countries, the President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, initiated a special meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland to resolve this issue in bilateral relations “exclusively in a civilized European way”. The meeting will take place on 17 November in Krakow.
The massacre of Poles in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia, a part of Nazi-occupied Poland at that time, began in March 1943 and lasted until the end of 1944. During an ethnic cleansing operation, units of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army killed up to 100,000 Poles.