Negocjacje Prezydentów Ukrainy i Polski w Charkowie
Meeting between the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland began in Kharkiv
The meeting between President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko and President of Poland Andrzej Duda began.
Following the meeting in vis-a-vis format, the Ukraine-Poland expanded negotiations will begin.
The two Presidents will also meet with journalists.
History should not affect the strategic nature of Ukrainian-Polish relations – Presidents
"We agreed that history should not affect the strategic nature of Ukrainian-Polish relations," President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko said during a joint press conference with President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda following the negotiations.
Petro Poroshenko emphasized that we must remember the heroes of the past and pay tribute to the innocent victims. “However, we must move forward resolutely, as we cannot change the history, but should and can change the present, creating better conditions for the future, so that nobody can ignite either hatred or hostility in the hearts of Ukrainians and Poles,” the President of Ukraine noted.
The Head of State informed on the agreement with the President of Poland aimed to raise the level of the commission for cooperation in historic affairs to the Deputy Prime Ministers. The Ukrainian side will be represented by Deputy Prime Minister Pavlo Rozenko in this issue.
“I am confident that we will be able to demonstrate sufficiently rapid and significant progress in this direction. We expect the commission to assemble in the near future and as a result of effective dialogue, we will finally be able to give "green light" to the process of scientific study, exhumation, preservation of monuments, preventing vandalism and removing any sensitive moments from our cooperation,” he said.
Answering journalists' questions about the attitude towards Stepan Bandera's figure and the "movement he created", the President of Ukraine once again stressed that the process of renewal of scientific research should be intensified with the restoration of the work of the "rebooted" commission on studying historical memory. The President expressed hope that the commission would hold its meeting shortly.
“I expect the commission to start its work shortly. One of its tasks is to speed up the beginning of exhumation, as well as to convey historic issues, including the figure of Stepan Bandera - a man who made a huge contribution to the national liberation movement. However, it is the issue of Ukraine as well,” Petro Poroshenko said.
According to the President, there are many historical heroes that unite, but not divide Ukrainians and Poles. For example, Marshal Józef Piłsudski, whose troops, together with the troops of the Ukrainian People's Republic, gained great victories over Russian-Bolshevik invasion near Zamość and Warsaw in the 1920’s.
He noted that December 5 is the date of birth of Marshal Piłsudski and added that part of his life was related to Kharkiv, where he studied in the Karazin University. “Availing myself of this opportunity, I would like to congratulate the Polish colleagues, the Polish state and the Polish nation on this glorious date and recall the famous statement of the Polish Marshal: "There is no independent Poland without independent Ukraine, as there is no independent Ukraine without independent Poland," Petro Poroshenko said.
"I am convinced that these wise words of the great Polish figure will serve as a guideline for the effective cooperation of the Ukrainian and Polish nations," the President noted.
Petro Poroshenko thanked Andrzej Duda for today's sincere and fruitful conversation.
The President of Poland, in his turn, noted that today's conversation with President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko touched upon controversial issues as well. He expressed hope that those issues "will be resolved in the spirit of good-neighborliness and good cooperation between the countries, and above all, in the spirit of good cooperation between the nations".
“We would like the history not to affect the present and the future,” the President of Poland said.
Andrzej Duda stressed the importance of conducting research to preserve historical memory. "To do this, we need specific research by experts, I mean, first of all, exhumation," he said.
According to him, during the meeting today, an agreement was reached on the appeal of the Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers of Culture of Poland and Ukraine on the commission’s coordination regarding the earliest lifting of the ban on exhumation.
"This is necessary for us, and I interpret it as the first step towards overcoming the deadlock that has arisen lately. I urge politicians to be moderated in their speeches and statements, so that they do not act emotionally, because these are complex cases - many people still bear these wounds," the President of the Republic of Poland noted.
He called for moderation: "We must try to approach this calmly, to go to the truth, so that we can build a bridge of friendship between our nations, rather than wound ourselves and destroy many of those places we managed to rebuild".
The leaders of Ukraine and Poland also condemned vandalism and destruction of historical monuments.
"I am worried about every situation when any form of immortality or a monument is destroyed. It is not a road to peaceful establishment of relations between peoples," Andrzej Duda said.
"One side benefits from the historic conflicts between Ukraine and Poland. And this is not Ukraine, not Poland, but Russia," the Head of State is convinced. "We have a clear understanding, both in Ukraine and in Poland: it is necessary to leave history to historians and politicians should deal with the future," Petro Poroshenko emphasized.
Meeting between the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland: Ukraine proposes to increase the number of Polish representatives in the OSCE SMM in the occupied territories
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko expressed gratitude to President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda for the active participation of his country in the work of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, which allows the provision of transparent, objective information for the whole world concerning the events taking place in the occupied territories in the east of Ukraine.
"We highly appreciate the contribution of Poles to securing peace in the east," Petro Poroshenko said following the negotiations with the Polish President. He noted that the number of Polish representatives in the OSCE SMM was one of the biggest.
“Please, convey gratitude to 35 Polish OSCE observers - to each of them. This is a responsible and dangerous work made by Poland for the restoration of peace in Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko said. The Head of State addressed Andrzej Duda, who plans to meet with the OSCE SMM observers from Poland today, with an offer to increase the number of Poles in the Mission.
According to Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine “will be grateful if Poland finds an opportunity to increase the number of its representatives in the OSCE SMM”. “This provides objective information and facilitates peace in Ukraine,” Petro Poroshenko described the results of the work of the Mission.
“It will be very important for us if war in our neighbor’s territory finally ends, so that people in east Ukraine can get back home and begin the process of reconstruction of everything that has been destroyed as a result of the armed aggression. So that people are not worried about their life, property, so that the IDPs can get back to normal life and peace,” the President of Poland said.
President: I am hopeful that the common voice of Ukraine and Poland will be effective enough in ensuring energy security
President Petro Poroshenko noted the importance of cooperation between Ukraine and Poland in energy security.
“We are grateful to Poland for the common position regarding the Nord Stream 2. This is a threat not only to energy security of Ukraine and Poland. This is a threat for energy security of the whole Europe. This is an absolutely political project,” the Head of State noted during the press conference following the negotiations with the President of Poland.
The President is hopeful that the common voice of Ukraine and Poland together with their partners from the EU and the US will be effective enough in ensuring energy security
In turn, President of Poland Andrzej Duda assured that the position of Poland as regards the Nord Stream 2 remained unchanged. “We are against this investment. We believe it tramples on European norms, that it is against the interests of the European Union, and here our positions are identical, unambiguous and immutable from the very beginning,” he stressed.
According to him, the parties discussed the support for Ukraine in the form of investments in building an interconnector gas pipeline. “I am glad that the given investment task is being implemented now and that there is a close cooperation between Ukraine and Poland in this issue. We are open for the proposals of Ukraine regarding the supply of liquified gas to Ukraine,” the President of Poland emphasized.
“This investment must serve our countries. And it must be implemented so that the two parties will benefit from this investment,” he said.
The President of Poland added that the construction of the interconnector will increase security and trade opportunities of the two countries.
Meeting between the Presidents of Ukraine and Poland: Poland supports the introduction of a UN peacekeeping mission in the Donbas
"The firm voice of Poland in the UN Security Council plays an important role in the debate on ensuring the return of peace in the east of Ukraine and in Crimea, as well as the liberation of the territories occupied by the Russian Federation," President Petro Poroshenko said during the joint press conference following the talks with the President of Poland. He congratulated Poland on having been elected non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2018-2019.
The President of Ukraine said that the sides had discussed in details the coordination of joint actions, inter alia, on the support for joint initiatives on the introduction of peacekeepers. "True peacekeepers, not guards - the OSCE SMM observers," he said.
The Head of State emphasized that "peacekeepers should work in the entire occupied territory of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, not just along the touch line". At the same time, he stressed that "these peacekeepers will have a completely clear format typical for peacekeeping missions".
"The format of peacekeepers in the Donbas should be a format of a peacekeeping mission. No guards. The area of responsibility is all occupied territories in the east of Ukraine. Not just the touch line," Petro Poroshenko stated and emphasized that such a peacekeeping mission was capable of bringing peace to Ukraine and could prevent future casualties. "Every day, including the last 24 hours, we lose Ukrainian heroes," the President noted.
"The absolutely clear position of Poland on a peacekeeping mission is extremely important for us," he said, adding that Poland had been a co-author of all recent United Nations initiatives, including on the de-occupation of Crimea. He expressed gratitude to this country for its international support to Ukraine.
"There is no explanation who can be against peacekeepers who stop the war," the President said.
In turn, the President of Poland said that during the meeting important issues had been discussed in the context of Poland's membership in the UN Security Council in the next two years. "A very important idea to be done is to start the work of a UN peacekeeping mission in the occupied territories of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, the so-called "blue helmets". We stand for this mission to meet all the standards for this kind of operations," President Duda said. He emphasized the issue of powers of the mission "so that it not only protects the OSCE representatives, but also operates throughout the territory leading the conflict, that arose as a result of Russian aggression, to an end and facilitating the implementation of the Minsk agreements".
The Polish President also emphasizes that in case Ukraine submits such a proposal to the agenda of the UN Security Council, it will enjoy the support of the Polish side. "Poland will be one of the states that will support this initiative. We support this decision and here Ukraine can rely on our strong support," Andrzej Duda said.
We are grateful to Poland for supporting our path to NATO - Petro Poroshenko
During the joint press conference following the talks with the President of the Republic of Poland, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko stressed that Ukraine could always count on the support of friendly Poland in the defense and security issues.
Petro Poroshenko noted the effective cooperation of the two states in the framework of the activities of the Ukrainian-Polish-Lithuanian brigade. "We are very pleased with the development of our cooperation. We see that the exchange of experience and joint training today lead to interoperability between our armies, which is beneficial for all parties - Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania," the President noted.
The Head of State noted the important role of Poland in Ukraine’s interaction with NATO countries and recalled the historic NATO Summit in Warsaw, the decision of the Ukraine-NATO Commission, the adoption of important decisions on the establishment of the NATO Trust Funds, the approval of the program of strategic communication and the decisions in the sphere of cybersecurity, other important directions on the support for Ukraine and its further integration in the NATO system.
"I thanked the President for the firm position of Poland in supporting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine, demonstrated in the first minutes of the illegal annexation of Crimea, in the first minutes of Russian aggression in the east of our country," he said.
The Head of State stressed: "The issue of strategic partnership between Ukraine and Poland remains the unwavering foreign policy priority for both Kyiv and Warsaw".
The President also thanked for the clear and invariable support of Poland in countering Russian aggression, conducting reforms, in the European aspirations of the Ukrainian people.
President honored memory of the Chernobyl liquidators
President Petro Poroshenko honored memory of the liquidators of Chernobyl accident.
The Head of State put a flower arrangement in national colors to the memorial sign "Warriors of Chernobyl" and put flowers to the Memorial Mound "Heroes of Chernobyl" in Kyiv.
The ceremony was attended by Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Andriy Parubiy, representatives of the Cabinet of Ministers, the Presidential Administration, clergy and public figures.
The participants paid tribute to the liquidators with a moment of silence. The national anthem was performed.