Kyiv is standing in front of building a complicated, but necessary dialogue with Warsaw, which has reached a dead end in recent years. It is fair to say that both sides derailed the relations between Ukraine and Poland, however, this does not mean that Kyiv should wait for a full or partial reboot of the government in the neighboring country, moreover, this may not happen, according to political expert Valentyn Haidai.
“We should not forget that in both cases with Poland and with Russia one should differ between sociopolitical and economic dialogues. It is no secret that under conditions of political confrontation between the Ukrainian and Russian elites trade and economic cooperation between the two countries is growing. We can see the same situation in case with Poland,” Haidai said in a program on the Expert Club YouTube channel.
In the expert’s opinion, there is no especial confrontation between the political elites of both countries. Poland and Ukraine do not have any territorial disputes, despite the desire to revise the borders by certain marginal circles, or a sharp conflict related to humanitarian policy, as in the case of Hungary.
“Speaking about economic cooperation, it should be noted that it was estimated at more than EUR 7 billion at the beginning of this year, which is EUR 2 billion more than in 2015, and it continues growing even during the coronavirus pandemic. Ukrainian export to Poland has increased, just the same as Polish import to Ukraine did. An increase in trade, in particular, was registered in the following segments: mineral fertilizers, textile, mechanical and electric equipment, animal fat and metal goods. In addition, Ukraine is one of the largest recipients of Polish food. According to Statistics Poland, export of agricultural goods to Ukraine has grown by more than 20%,” the political expert said.
As of the end of 2019, more than 400 joint enterprises operated in Ukraine and Poland in machine building, consumer goods and food industry, agriculture, etc. Cultural and scientific cooperation continues. Poland, which has a range of grant and scholarship programs, including the Eastern Studies, Stipend for Young Researchers and Krzysztof Skubiszewski Scholarship programs, is traditionally preferred by Ukrainian school graduates, postgraduate students and scientists.
“The problem is that if liberal Trzaskowski won, it is highly probable that Warsaw would take a step forward towards the normalization of relations with Kyiv on its own, while after the victory of conservative Duda in the presidential election the search for compromises was put off,” Haidai said.
The full interview is available on the Expert Club YouTube channel
The date of the meeting of the Ukrainian-Polish Intergovernmental Commission on economic cooperation will be agreed upon in the coming weeks. The relevant agreement was reached during a telephone conversation between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau on Wednesday.
“Dmytro Kuleba noted the importance of using all opportunities and platforms to promote economic and trade cooperation between Ukraine and Poland amid the continuing effect on the economies of both countries of the coronavirus [COVID-19] pandemic. The ministers agreed in the coming weeks to specify the date of the meeting of the Ukrainian-Polish Intergovernmental Commission on economic cooperation,” the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s press service said.
Kuleba and Rau also discussed preparations for the visit of Polish President Andrzej Duda to Ukraine at the invitation of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It is expected that the visit of the Polish president will contribute to the development of political cooperation and will allow reaching new agreements on a wide range of issues on the agenda of strategic partnership between Ukraine and Poland.
In addition, the ministers agreed to speed up the preparation for the video conference of the coordinators from the Foreign Ministries of the Lublin Triangle countries – Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania.
The parties also expressed their commitment to a positive solution to cultural and historical issues.
“Kuleba noted the importance of achieving progress in the implementation of agreements on the restoration of the burial place of UPA [Ukrainian Insurgent Army] soldiers on Mount Monastery near Przemyśl, who died in 1945 in a battle with the NKVD internal troops units. The interlocutors urged not to allow the historical past to influence the good-neighborly nature of the Ukrainian and Polish relations,” the ministry’s press service said.
Rau also said that Poland continues to support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and this topic will become a priority during Poland’s chairmanship of the OSCE in 2022. He expressed his conviction that the sanctions of the European Union against Russia for the occupation of Crimea and certain areas of Donetsk and Luhansk regions should remain in force until the full cessation of illegal actions by the Russian Federation.
Rau also confirmed Poland’s unchanging support for Ukraine’s European and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.
The parties exchanged views and noted the commonality of their positions on the development of the situation in Belarus as well.
More and more Ukrainians are returning to Poland to work, the Analytical Department of the Gremi Personal international employment company has said.
According to the Polish Social Insurance Fund, some 22,000 more foreign labour migrants were registered in July. In total, the register contains 628,000 foreigners, payers of ZUS (insurance payments) and, first of all, they are Ukrainians.
Earlier in its research, the Analytical Center of Gremi Personal said: “The pandemic is a chance for Polish employers to keep labour migrants who were previously going to work in other countries. However, if there is no more loyal visa program at the state level, as well as promoting the assimilation of Ukrainians, after lockdown, they will increasingly choose not Poland, but, for example, the Czech Republic and Germany. So far, the flow of Ukrainians to Poland is the most stable due to the most convenient logistics and relatively stable economic situation in Poland. At the same time, the supply of jobs from Polish employers in logistics, food production, furniture industry, household appliances and construction is increasing. In these areas, work for Ukrainians will be until the end of the year.”
Gremi Personal also said that “this year in August, significantly fewer Ukrainians working in Poland started to temporarily leave for Ukraine to prepare children for the new school year; at the same time, a tangible increase in labour migrants is expected from September, when Ukrainians traditionally go to work in Poland, and Polish enterprises that employ Ukrainians are increasing production volumes before the New Year holidays.”
Foreign ministers of Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania – the countries that founded the Lublin Triangle format – agreed to meet in Ukraine in the fall, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
“We are already working on the content of our new partnership, making plans and believe that the Triangle should become an important element in the configuration of forces in Central Europe and in Europe as a whole. I can inform you that we have reached an agreement with my Polish and Lithuanian colleagues on that the next meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Lublin Triangle will be held in Ukraine this fall. We are committed to maintaining a dynamic dialogue and the dynamic development of our new format,” he said at an online briefing on Friday.Kuleba recalled that the Lublin Triangle is the first international format that Ukraine has been creating in its Western vector since independence, since 1991.
“Usually, when it comes to different European formats and structures, we join or seek to join the existing structures. Here we are already taking a leadership position and, together with partners, create new mechanisms that meet our regional and European interests,” the minister explained.As reported, Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine have established the Lublin Triangle format. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said that that format would become an important element in strengthening Central Europe and Ukraine, as a full member of the European and Euro-Atlantic family of nations.
Poland resumes flights with Ukraine from Wednesday, July 1.
This is codified in a decree of the Council of Ministers of Poland dated June 30, released on the government portal Dziennik Ustaw Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej.
According to it, the ban on flights to Poland does not apply to the EU countries (with the exception of Sweden and Portugal), as well as Ukraine, Montenegro, Georgia, Japan, Canada, Albania and South Korea.
The decree will be valid from July 1 to July 14.
In turn, Igor Sikorsky Kyiv International Airport said on its website that Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air has already resumed flights from Kyiv to Wroclaw, Warsaw and Krakow.
The Ecolines international bus service, which includes the Ukrainian Autolux service, will resume trips from Kyiv to Warsaw and Szczecin (Poland) starting from June 18.
As the company’s press service told Interfax-Ukraine, the company will gradually resume trips on other international routes.
Moreover, the company said that Autolux has already resumed regular bus service from Kyiv to Odesa, Zaporizhia, Kharkiv, Poltava, Kherson and Kropyvnytsky.
“There is a demand for routes in the western direction, but so far we cannot start trips to Lviv due to the epidemiological situation in the region,” the company said.