Warsaw fears Svoboda

12:55, 21 February 2013
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By scaring Europe with the specter of Ukrainian nationalism, Poland’s leadership is playing into the hands of President Viktor Yanukovych, claims an article Roman Kabachiy in the latest issue of Kyiv Weekly.

The year 2013 will be tense in Ukrainian – Polish relations. The history in these relations should on the contrary play a major role and encourage both sides to reach a better understanding. Though on the eve of the New Year the Sejm refused to condemn the forced resettlement of post-war Poland's Ukrainian minority (Boyky and Lemky) to Recovered Territories in 1947 under Operation Vistula, the 70th anniversary of the massacre of Poles in Volyn and Eastern Galicia will be commemorated in 2013.

Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych give the impression that they did not see any tension around this issue. Komorowski’s milieu (including Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski) is clearly urging the Polish president to “condemn the evil of Ukrainian nationalism” and feels that that Yanukovych should do the same. On February 19, the two presidents plan to meet in the Polish town of Wisla to develop a common position on Volyn and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA). This will be quite the easy task for Yanukovych’s team. Yet the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda may be an obstacle to this and clearly such a conflict is inevitable.

Presumably, the Poland’s establishment lead by President Komorowski and Premier Tusk bet the ranch to secure signing of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement by all means. They do not want to scare Yanukovych away from his allegedly pro-European aspirations, that is why they ardently fight his enemies on their own field. They do it via opposition of “location nationalism” and widely commented “Europeanness”.

In any case, nationalists in Ukraine and their ideological opponents in western countries should understand one thing: neither pretending to be a “genuine Banderivets”, nor wearing the mask of a “fascism fighter” will contribute to the development of freedoms, unless of course the Poles would prefer to work building “our and their freedom” together with Ukraine, than with some post-Soviet corrupted freak politician, the article concludes.

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