Latest from Poland: Polish Sejm recognizes Volhynia massacre as genocide

13:10 Jul. 22, 2016

Polish Sejm recognizes Volhynia massacre as genocide

Polish Parliament (AP Photo)

432 members of parliament voted for the resolution

Parliament sets July 11 as the National Day of Remembrance for victims of the massacre.

As the resolution text says, "citizens of the Second Republic were brutally murdered by Ukrainian nationalists". During 1943-1945 mass killings more than a hundred thousand of Polish citizens died. The exact number is still unknown.

Read more Polish Sejm takes first step to recognize Volhynia massacre as genocide

The Parliament of Poland calls to continue the work of reconciliation and dialogue between Poland and Ukraine.

Warsaw wants all the victims to be rediscovered and given a dignified burial. The resolution calls on the Ukrainian authorities to expand access to state archives and strengthen cooperation. Parliament also expresses solidarity with Ukraine that struggles with external aggression to preserve its territorial integrity.

Ukraine's president, Petro Poroshenko has voiced his regret over the decision. In a tweet, he said:

"I regret about the Polish Sejm's decision. I know many would like to use it for political speculations. However, we should turn Pope John Paul II's behest - to forgive and to ask for forgiveness. Only with joint steps we can come to Christian reconciliation and unity. Only together we can discover all the facts of the tragic pages of the shared history. I believe we will continue to follow this path."

Volodymyr Viatrovych, Head of Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, called the resolution "not a historical decision, but a historical misunderstanding". He called Sejm decision an unpleasant but expected result of growing anti-Ukrainian hysteria and not wanting to sort out the difficult history of Poland. Viatrovych mentioned that the resolution does not have anything in common with commemorating victims of the tragedy, but is an instrument of getting political dividends.

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