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    Die Welt: “Russia's invasion has brought Poland and Ukraine closer together. It dissatisfies Moscow.”

    Relations between Poland and Ukraine have been marked by disputes over history. But now “Russia’s invasion has brought the neighbouring countries closer together than ever before. It dissatisfies Moscow,” comments the German daily Die Welt today.

    Philipp Fritz and Pavel Lokshin note that “the statements of Ukrainian politicians reflect the public sentiment.”

     

    The vast majority of Ukrainians consider Poland to be the most important partner since the outbreak of the war, ahead of Britain and the US, the “Welt” points out. “Germany usually ranks at the bottom of the polls. It seems that Ukrainians want to embrace Poland – as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenski did to Polish head of state Andrzej Duda last Sunday before his speech in the Ukrainian parliament.”

     

    In Moscow, “this warming in bilateral relations is not well received.” For years, the Kremlin has enjoyed the strained Polish-Ukrainian relations and even fueled them with propaganda. “Russian efforts to drive a wedge between Poland and Ukraine are as old as the hills,” Stanislaw Zaryn, spokesman for Poland’s Minister-Special Services Coordinator, said as quoted by the Welt.

     

    “Despite close economic and military cooperation after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014, the main factor shaping relations has been the dispute over the “Volhynia crime,” notes the newspaper.

     

    “Many Poles still remember the massacre of at least 70,000 Poles by Ukrainian nationalists in 1943. Only on ‘Bloody Sunday,’ July 11, 1943, fighters of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army UPA attacked about 100 Polish villages.”

     

    “It seems, however, that politicians on both sides now want to emphasize common features, including the shared Polish-Ukrainian cultural space of western Ukraine,” we can read in an article.

     

    “Welt” quotes Deputy Prime Minister Piotr Glinski, who said that Russia’s aggressive war gives Poland and Ukraine “a chance for reconciliation.”

     

    “Kyiv wants to take advantage of this opportunity.” For example, “in Lviv in western Ukraine, two lion statues have just been unveiled in a Polish cemetery. ‘Long live Poland! Long live Ukraine! – wrote Lviv mayor Andriy Sadovyi. What looks like a small gesture has a huge meaning in Poland,” reports “Welt”.

     

    “In view of such gestures, Moscow is trying even harder to create discord between Poland and Ukraine,” writes “Welt”. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova “is worried about Ukraine’s independence. Zelenski’s announcement of a new special status for Polish citizens in Ukraine, making them equal in terms of rights to Ukrainian refugees in Poland, is ‘an abdication of sovereignty. The president has rejected Ukraine’s independence,” Zacharova points out. 

     

    Read the whole article here.

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