Speech by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration

The content of the speech of Interior Minister and Administration Mariusz Błaszczak of April 21 in the Sejm, in which he justifies not financing the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Vistula Operation by the government The Polish government does not accept the methods specific to totalitarian systems, including displacement. We also do not feel the heirs of the totalitarian rule. I would also like to emphasise that, in discussing the case, it is necessary to take into account its current context: the comparison of the events that are, in fact, incomparable, i.e. the displacement of 1947 and the Volhynian massacre. Such comparisons unfortunately do appear, especially beyond our eastern border. Today in Ukraine we see the cult of Bandera, of the man responsible for the crimes against Poles, the genocide commited by the Ukrainian nationalists in Volhynia in 1943. I recall that, at that time, over a hundred thousand Poles, including women and children, were bestially murdered. In the media, we can hear many comments from Mr Piotr Tyma [the president of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland since February 2006 - editor's note] complaining that the Polish government has not subsidised the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of Operation Vistula. I instructed my coworkers to inspect the statements from Mr Piotr Tyma for the denunciation of Bandera followers and I did not find such a statement. I would also like to recall the resolution of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of 22 July 2016 on homage to the victims of the genocide committed by Ukrainian nationalists against citizens of the Second Polish Republic in 1943-1945. I will recall a fragment of this resolution: "The Sejm of the Republic of Poland calls for the determination of crime scenes and their marking, the ensuring of a worthy burial to all the victims found, the restoration of the due dignity and respect to the innocent people tortured and murdered, the preparation of the full list of victims." I also want to stress that the Polish government supports the entry of Ukraine into the family of European nations. We strive for the best possible relations with Ukraine, but they must be based on truth. Of course we reject retorsion, but we demand symmetry. I do not know of cases where the Ukrainian government finances the sites of commemoration of the Volhynian massacre, and the Sejm of the Republic of Poland calls for the establishment of places of crime and their marking. This demonstrates that the symmetry principle is not preserved here.