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Expert: Poland to stop being Ukraine’s defender in Europe under new president elect

May 25, 2015, 18:40 UTC+3 KIEV
A light crisis is expected in Poland’s relations with the European Union and Ukraine: with the European Union - over money and with Ukraine - over ideology
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©  EPA/JACEK TURCZYK

KIEV, May 25 /TASS/. The election of Andrzej Duda as Poland’s new president will strengthen an ideological conflict between Warsaw and Kiev and will change Poland’s role of being Ukraine’s advocate in Europe, Ruslan Bortnik, director of the Ukrainian Institute of Policy Analysis and Management, told TASS on Monday.

"An ideological rift between Ukraine and Poland may increase. That may seriously undermine Poland’s role of Ukraine’s advocate in Europe," Bortnik said explaining that Polish new President Elect Andrzej Duda is holding a tougher stance against idealization of members of right radical movements in Ukraine. "He has said many times that the recognition of members of the Ukraine Insurgent Army as fighters for Ukraine’s independence is the critical point for a normal Ukrainian-Polish dialogue and called for remembering hundreds of thousands of Polish victims of the massacres in Volhynia and Eastern Galicia during WWII," the Ukrainian expert said.

He predicts that Poland’s relations with Ukraine and the rest of Europe will be cooler under Duda because the new president elect is likely to focus more on the internal agenda, including an increase of social standards for the Poles, rather than foreign policy.

"Poland’s position in the Ukraine crisis may become less conspicuous and straightforward because the task of meeting social obligations may push Duda to cooperation, possibly with Russia, despite all the rhetoric with other participants in the process," Bortnik stressed. According to him, Europe is unlikely to increase social standards for the Poles and Poland will have search for an external financial resource.

"Anyway, a light crisis is expected in Poland’s relations with the European Union and Ukraine: with the European Union - over money and with Ukraine - over ideology," Bortnik went on to say.

Andrzej Duda won the second round of presidential elections in Poland on May 24. According to preliminary vote count, the opposition candidate Duda was 4% ahead of his chief rival - incumbent Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski who has already conceded his defeat. The Polish Central Electoral Committee hopes to announce the official results either on Monday evening or Tuesday morning. Duda will official take office on August 6, the day when Komorowski’s presidential term officially expires.

The Volhynia massacre is an ethnic political conflict accompanied by mass extermination by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army of ethnic Poles, predominantly civilians, and to a minor extent civilians of other nationalities, including Ukrainians, in the regions of Volhynia and Eastern Galicia in 1943.

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