Chairman of Ukrainian Parliament Addressed Sejm: Thanked Poles and Mentioned Volhynia

Thursday, 25 May 2023

Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, Ruslan Stefanchuk, addressed the Sejm of Poland on Thursday morning. He expressed gratitude to the Polish people and mentioned the approaching anniversary of Volhynia.

As reported by TVN24, Stefanchuk's speech, which was partially delivered in Polish, lasted more than 30 minutes and more than once caused applause and "Bravo!"

In addition to the MPs, Marshal of the Senate Tomasz Grodzki and senators also listened to his speech in the lower house of the parliament.

The Ukrainian politician noted that he was extremely glad to be on friendly Polish soil, and emphasised that after February 24 last year, Poland became a hospitable home for many Ukrainians.

"From the very first moments of the Russian invasion, the Polish nation and the Polish state stood resolutely shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine, boldly and loudly proclaiming to the world: there is no consent to the dominance of force over law, there is no consent to the violation of the principles by which we all live," said Stefanchuk.

He added that "the Polish nation and our close neighbor have shown unconditional love towards their fellow human beings."

As Stefanchuk noted, every third Pole in one way or another helped Ukraine in its difficult times. "A low bow and sincere thanks to you, dear Polish people," the politician said.

The Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine also mentioned the approaching anniversary of the Volhynian Massacre: "The anniversary of the terrible events in Volyn is approaching. We understand your pain after the loss of loved ones."

"We understand your pain at the loss of your loved ones. To all the families and descendants of the victims of those events in Volhynia, I extend sincere condolences and gratitude for preserving the bright memory of your ancestors. This memory does not call for revenge or hatred but serves as a warning that such atrocities should never be repeated between our nations," he added.

"Every life is equally valuable, regardless of nationality, gender, race or religion. Realising this, we will work with you, dear Polish friends, accepting the truth, no matter how painful it is. Together we must pass this difficult but necessary test so that the formula "we forgive and ask for forgiveness" becomes meaningful and practical," the politician said.

"I want us to realise that, not for the first time, history gives our presidents, parliaments and governments a unique opportunity and responsibility to become the creators of a new future for the good neighbours of Ukraine and Poland. I want us to write our new history together, without retouching it and tearing out of it not a single written and lived page," said the Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliamnebt.

The spokesman of the Polish MFA Łukasz Jasina said that Volodymyr Zelenskyy should apologise and ask for forgiveness to the Poles for Volhynia. In response, the Ukrainian ambassador to Warsaw said that any attempts to dictate to Ukraine’s president or to Ukraine concerning what we should do with respect to our common past are "unacceptable and unfortunate".

Reacting to this, State Secretary of the Office of the President of Poland Malgorzata Paprocka said that the Volhynia tragedy should not be part of "Twitter diplomacy".

Read also  Volhynia Test: Will Ukrainian-Polish Thaw Withstand History? (Ukr)

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