1 Feb 2018 18:28

Poroshenko concerned about Polish legislation on National Memory Institute, calls it biased, unacceptable

KYIV. Feb 1 (Interfax) - Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has voiced his concern about the passage by the Polish Senate of legislation on the National Memory Institute, which, in particular, stipulates punishment for the denial of 'crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists'.

"I am deeply concerned about the Polish parliament's decision. Historical truth requires a sincere conversation and dialogue rather than bans. The judgments contained in this decision are absolutely biased and categorically unacceptable," Poroshenko said on Facebook on Thursday.

"Above all, we remember our common victories and our fight against totalitarian regimes. Not a single political decision can substitute for historical truth," he said.

The legislation passed by the Polish parliament does not meet the declared strategic partnership principles between Ukraine and Poland, Poroshenko said. He invited Poland to "impartiality and dialogue."

"We can win only together," Poroshenko said.

Some Ukrainian parliamentarians also voiced their concern about the Polish legislation.

"By politicizing history, the Polish politicians have crossed red lines in neighborly relations with Ukraine, Lithuania, and Germany and are damaging their interests by increasing tension along the Warsaw-Tel Aviv and Warsaw-Brussels lines," Hanna Hopko, the head of the Verkhovna Rada Foreign Affairs Committee, said in commenting on the Polish legislation.

Once "a locomotive and exemplary democracy" in Central and Eastern Europe, Poland is now "slipping into chauvinistic diktat of politics over historical truth by selecting sensitive pages of history," she said.

Head of the Ukrainian parliamentary Committee on Culture and Spirituality Mykola Knyazhytsky of the Popular Front faction said he regretted that, by adopting the legislation, Poland, in his view, "vindicates fascism."

The Polish Senate passed legislation on the National Memory Institute without amendments in the early hours of February 1. The legislation, in particular, bans 'Bandera ideology' and introduces sanctions for denying "crimes committed by Ukrainian nationalists."