Poland–Ukraine relations

Poland–Ukraine relations

Polish-Ukrainian relations were estabilished soon after Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union in early 1990s. They have been improving since, with Poland and Ukraine forming a strong strategic partnership.


Polish-Ukrainian relations can be traced to the 16th-17th centuries in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the often turbulent relations between that state and the mostly polonized nobility (szlachta) and the Cossacks. The next stage would be the relations in the years 1918-1920, in the aftermath of World War I, which saw both the Polish-Ukrainian War and the Polish-Ukrainian alliance. The interwar period would eventually see independent Poland while the Ukrainians had no state of their own, being divided between Poland and the Soviet Union. This led to a deterioration of Polish-Ukrainian relations, and would result in a flare-up of ethnic tensions during and immediately after World War II (massacres of Poles in Volhynia and Operation Wisła being the most infamous). While this left the Polish-Ukrainian relations in the mid-20th century in a relatively poor state, there was little meaningful and independent diplomacy and contact between the People's Republic of Poland and the Ukrainian SSR. The situation changed significantly with the fall of communism, when both Poland and Ukraine became fully independent and could once again decide on foreign policies of their own.

Modern era

On October 13, 1990 Poland and Ukraine agreed to the "Declaration on the foundations and general directions in the development of Polish-Ukrainian relations". Article 3 of this declaration said that neither country has any territorial claims against the other, and will not bring any in the future. Both countries promised to respect the rights of national minorities on their territories and to improve the situation of minorities in their countries. This declaration re-affirmed the historic and ethnic ties between Poland and Ukraine, containing a reference to "the ethnic and cultural kinship of the Polish and Ukrainian peoples". [Stephen R. Burant. "International Relations in a Regional Context: Poland and Its Eastern Neighbours. Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine". Europe-Asia Studies, Vol. 45, No. 3. (1993), pp. 395-418.]

Various controversies from their shared history occasionally resurface in Polish-Ukrainian relations, but they are not having a major influence on the bilateral relations of Poland and Ukraine. [Copsey, 2006.] The most recent controversy involved Poland's acceptance of the Schengen Agreement, and the problems this created with the Ukrainian border traffic.

Support for Ukrainian sovereignty has become an important component of Polish foreign policy.Zajączkowski, 2005.] Poland strongly supported the peaceful and democratic resolution of the 2004 Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and has backed NATO-Ukraine cooperation, as well as Ukraine's efforts to join the European Union. [Polskie Radio. " [http://www.polskieradio.pl/zagranica/news/artykul78076_Poland_supports_Ukraine.html Poland supports Ukraine] " retrieved 18.03.2008]


ee also

*UEFA Euro 2012, to be co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine

Further reading

*R. and K. Wolczuk, "Poland and Ukraine: a strategic partnership in a changing Europe?" Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2003.
*Zajączkowski, Wojciech, "Polish-Ukrainian Relations", Yearbook of Polish Foreign Policy (01/2005), [http://www.ceeol.com/aspx/issuedetails.aspx?issueid=af9f4c37-4c6b-4ec5-b5ab-8b429c035c08&articleId=f8a52ae5-46c7-440f-8bdd-9cd13277d938]
*Siwiec, Marek, "The Polish-Ukrainian Relations during the Last Decade", The Polish Foreign Affairs Digest (4 (5)/2002), [http://www.ceeol.com/aspx/issuedetails.aspx?issueid=5574d6e3-d360-42a7-8a94-1908e5b9aa89&articleId=8a59b8a6-23e7-4205-9b72-667d98302800]
*Joanna Konieczna, [http://www.batory.org.pl/doc/pol_ukr.pdf Poles and Ukrainians, Poland and Ukraine: The Paradoxes of Neighbourly Relations]
*Kevin Hannan, review of " [http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~sarmatia/904/243hannan.html Polska-Ukraina: 1000 lat sąsiedztwa] ", The Sarmatian Review, September 2004
*Copsey, N. (2006) " [http://www.sussex.ac.uk/sei/documents/echoes_of_the_past_in_contemporary_politics.pdf Echoes of the Past in Contemporary Politics: the case of Polish-Ukrainian Reconciliation] ", SEI Working Paper, No. 87.
*Oleksandr Pavliuk, " [http://cms.isn.ch/public/docs/doc_45_259_en.pdf The Ukrainian-Polish Strategic Partnership and Central European Geopolitics] "

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