Poles need EU money to help Ukrainians, Ambassador said.


WARSAW, POLAND (AP) — Ukraine’s ambassador to neighboring Poland said she appreciates Poland for welcoming millions of Ukrainian refugees, but hopes the European Union will soon release billions of euros to Poland. Come “at the expense of the Polish”.

Ambassador Andrii Deshchytsia said there had been no real social tension in the three months since Ukrainians began to cross to Poland for safety, but given the widespread help of Poles, they are concerned that they may appear in the future.

The government has provided free medical, educational and other social services to Ukrainians, and more than 80% of them live in Polish private homes. Deshchytsia points out that Russia’s disinformation activity online includes spreading the message that Ukrainians are being treated better than Poles, and while these efforts have not yet found a fertile ground, they are concerned that it could cause problems. .

“I’m worried because I don’t know where the limits of Polish hospitality are,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday. “A warm and healthy welcome. But how long can they be stored? And it is understandable to me as well as to my compatriots. They understand that there are some limitations.”

The solution, he sees, is for the EU to launch a multi-billion euro pandemic recovery package. It also has the advantage of preventing many Ukrainians from getting frustrated in Poland and heading elsewhere in the EU, he argued.

Most of the bloc’s 27 member states have received funding aimed at recovering the country from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the €36 billion allocated to Poland has been blocked by disputes over court changes that are considered erosion. democratic standards.

A major point of contention is the Supreme Court’s disciplinary chamber, which was how the Conservative authorities in Poland stopped judges who made decisions they did not like. The EU Commission wants to repeal the Senate and reinstate suspended judges. This is something Poland couldn’t do. Next week, the National Assembly is expected to discuss solutions to the crisis surrounding the Senate.

Deshchytsia said both sides want to find a compromise and urges the EU and Poland to make it happen.

“Poland has proven how effectively it can manage this wave of migrants, how effectively it can manage its own budget and how effectively it can provide assistance to migrants,” he said. “It will be helpful to both Ukrainians and Poles living in Poland. And we will be free from possible tensions.”

Deshchytsia estimates that there are currently between 3 and 4 million Ukrainians in Poland, of which around 1.5 million have already worked, studied and lived in Poland before the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the rest have arrived since. In a country of 38 million people, this means that Ukrainians currently make up around 10% of the population.

It’s still unclear how many will be left, and it will depend on how long the war will last.

The Polish border guards accounted for around 3.5 million people who crossed over from Ukraine to Poland since the outbreak of the war and more than 1.4 million vice versa. Some of those who arrive in Poland have left for other countries, but many have decided to remain in Poland, where they have friends or family and share cultural and linguistic connections with Poles. Also, many people want to be close to Ukraine and hope to return.

The ambassador said Ukrainians are often asked if they can return now because Russian troops have withdrawn from the area around Kyiv and some other areas. He doesn’t have a good answer.

“It’s too hard to say whether I should go home or not, as things aren’t stable yet. So I would recommend going to Lviv, far from the front line. But like two or three days ago, Lviv could be bombed overnight, and rockets could come to your house or car.”

Relations between Poland and Ukraine have in the past been strained by the lingering racial bloodshed of the 20th century. The ambassador said this changed “dramatically” as the Russian threat united Poles and Ukrainians.

As a sign of Poland’s support, Prime Minister Matteusi Moraviecki and President Andrzej Duda will step up their lobbying for the EU to grant Ukraine candidate EU candidate status at their June 23-24 summit.

Since the start of the war, the ambassador said he was often stopped on the streets by people who appreciated Ukraine’s resistance to Russia. He says they say to him.

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