A TOUGH YEAR.
The 2018 may be a difficult year for the relations between Poland and Ukraine. However, it is quite possible for the official Kyiv to change the negative tendencies in the Polish-Ukrainian dialogue. Of course, if necessary efforts are made.
The ruling Polish party “Law and Justice” pays great attention to the historical policy and Ukraine feels it for several years. Therefore, the year of the 75th anniversary of the Volyn tragedy and the 100th anniversary of the restoration of Polish independence promises to be full of not only joint measures to commemorate the dead. I have serious doubts that there will be at least a couple of warm words about the Ukrainians of the period in which the Polish and Ukrainian peoples fiercely competed with each other in the Polish historical narrative of the jubilee. I assume that the 75th anniversary of the creation of the SS “Galicia” Division in Poland will be interpreted unambiguously.
Meanwhile, the devil lies in trifles: in the Polish expert environment, calls are made to think over the concept of attitude towards Ukraine, over which the views of Jerzy Giedroyc would not be gravitated. “Ingratitude” – by this word Polish politicians and experts often assess Polish-Ukrainian relations after 1991. But the Ukrainians were grateful and with the efforts of the non-indifferent, renamed Tverskaya Street in Kyiv on Jerzy Giedroyc Street (in 2017, former Patrice Lumumbi became John Paul II’s street, and Vasyl Stus Square appeared in Warsaw).
Obviously, it will not be easy to set up a dialogue, because even the new prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki repeated the thesis of “Ukrainian refugees” several times, the number of which does not reach even a thousand since 2014 according to official Polish sources. Political feasibility in the context of tense relations between Warsaw and Brussels has not been canceled, but to compensate for such “arithmetic” by reducing tension in bilateral relations seems to be beneficial both for Ukraine and Poland. Our country is interested in normal relations with its strategic partner, who serves as a guideline for economic development, and as a model for reforming local self-government. Ukraine is the reserve that contributes to the creation of Poland’s own stockpiles of strength.
It`s no pleasure in keeping a list of mutual insults, but hoping for an idyll after a long confrontation – an apogee of naivety. In fact, Ukraine and Poland expect the difficult way of dialogue that is needed today by both nations. Only enlargement of cooperation, increase of its intensity can be a solvation to any complications of Polish-Ukrainian relations.
Executive Director of the Institute of World Politics Yevgeny Magda