Poland may block Ukraine's EU membership: This must be resolved first

Written by Henrik Rothen

Nov.08 - 2023 3:00 PM CET

Photo: Twitter/Shutterstock.com
Photo: Twitter/Shutterstock.com
This must be resolved first according to Poland.

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Paweł Jabłoński, the Polish Deputy Foreign Minister, has highlighted a significant condition for Ukraine's European Union accession aspirations: the resolution of historical disputes concerning the exhumation of Polish nationals' remains in Ukraine.

This statement came during an interview with Radio ZET, where Jabłoński emphasized the necessity of addressing the sensitive issue of the Volyn Tragedy—a series of massacres in the 1940s where many Polish people were killed in what is now Ukrainian territory.

Jabłoński refrained from labeling the exhumation as a direct condition for Poland's support of Ukraine's EU bid but clarified that any major dispute between potential allies must be resolved for cooperation to be feasible.

Pledged to lift the ban

This stance reflects the complex historical relationship between the two nations, which continues to influence their political and diplomatic interactions.

In a move towards reconciliation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in 2019, pledged to lift the ban on exhumation and search operations for the Polish victims of the Volyn Tragedy, a ban that was previously implemented by his predecessors.

This was partly in response to the demolition of a monument to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army in Poland. The resumption of search operations in Lviv in November 2019 marked a step forward, albeit a contentious one, as further permits were linked to the restoration of a desecrated Ukrainian grave.

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