Polish-Ukrainian talks: sides agree to scrap Moratorium on Exhumation of victims of armed conflicts

At the recent talks in Krakow (Poland) that highlighted the crisis in the Polish-Ukrainian relations, the sides agreed to lift a moratorium for search-exhumation works and subsequent restoration, as indicated in a statement published on the website of the President of Ukraine.

The negotiating sides agreed to hold an intergovernmental meeting with the Vice Prime Ministers to discuss in detail the lifting of the moratorium.

In addition, the parties agreed to continue the work of a Ukrainian-Polish intergovernmental commission for the protection and return of cultural heritage.

“Ukraine and Poland have agreed to cooperate with local authorities with the goal of resolving matters of mutual interest,” the statement read.

The both sides also reiterated their support for bolstering a strategic partnership between Ukraine and Poland, and discussed preparations for the upcoming visit of President of Poland Andrzej Duda to Kharkiv (Ukraine) in December this year.

The meeting was held between Deputy Chief of Staff of the President of Ukraine, Kostiantyn Yelisieiev and Special Envoy of the President of Poland, Krzysztof Schersky, at the direction of Presidents Petro Poroshenko and Andrzej Duda.

As it was earlier reported, on November 10th, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Poland stated that the ban imposed by Ukrainian authorities on the search and exhumation of Polish victims of armed conflicts in Ukraine contradicted the pledged strategic partnership between the two states.

Earlier, the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance’s initiated a moratorium on exhuming Poles in Ukraine in response to an act of vandalism committed against a Ukrainian grave at the cemetery in Hruszowice near Przemysl (Poland).

At the same time, Ambassador of Ukraine to Poland, Andrii Deshchytsia said that Kyiv and Warsaw first needed to bridge differences and find common ground on the burial locations of Ukrainians and Poles, and only then approach complex issues.

The Director of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, Volodymyr Viatrovych, said that Ukraine would be able to offer a constructive approach to the exhumation of Polish victims when Poland comes forward with a policy to legalize Ukrainian memorials in the territory of Poland, and the Polish government undertakes its responsibility to restore the destroyed memorials.

  Poland, Ukraine, Krakow, Andrzej Duda, Poroshenko