Estimated reading time: 1 minute
A draft regulation was tabled in Poland’s lower house of parliament, the Sejm, on Tuesday, proposing waiving criminal liability for Poles serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine from February 2014 without the requisite permission.
The bill was signed by MPs from the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, the main opposition grouping Civic Coalition (KO), The Left, the Polish Coalition-Polish Peoples’ Party (PSL) bloc, and Poland 2050.
In addition to serving in the Ukrainian military, enlisting Polish citizens, or foreigners resident in the country, into the Ukrainian forces would also be decriminalised under the bill’s proposals.
Current rules permit Polish citizens to serve in the military of another country only with permission from the Ministry of Defence, which entails a lengthy procedure. Serving in another country’s armed forces without the necessary permits can result in between three months and five years in prison.
The bill’s proponents justified the measure through Russian aggression against Ukraine – which they say started in 2014 and was significantly extended in February 2022 – being of significant consequence to Poland’s national security, which they said requires extraordinary state action.