Victor Yushchenko and Lech Kaczynski have opened a Memorial to the Fallen Ukrainians in the Polish village of Pavlokoma. They placed flowers on the monument and attended a church service.

In his speech, President Yushchenko said this ceremony was important to strengthen neighborly relations between Ukraine and Poland, the president press service informed.

“Our nations and governments faced two roads: we could either continue the war in our souls or shake hands. Ukraine and Poland have chosen the path of understanding,” he said.

The Head of State thanked his Polish colleague and the Polish government for building the memorial. He also expressed gratitude to the Pavlokoma community: “I appreciate your tolerance and understanding. I am thankful to all dwellers of the village for coming to this neglected place for years to honor it. Today, we declare that Ukraine and Poland demonstrate new solidarity.”

In his turn, Mr. Kaczynski said the event showed that both Ukraine and Poland shared common values and equally understood that “no crime can be justified.”

“Our nations show there are no insurmountable historical obstacles. We cannot change the past but we can prevent it from determining our future,” he opined.

Then the Heads of State observed a one-minute silence to honor the Pavlokoma Poles.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk, Economy Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov, Youth and Sports Minister Yuriy Pavlenko, Agriculture Minister Oleksandr Baranivsky, Lviv Governor Petro Oliynyk, MP Yuriy Kostenko and MP Oleksiy Ivchenko attended the ceremony.

At a meeting with Poland’s Ukrainian community, Victor Yushchenko has said Ukraine should build closer ties with the Ukrainian diaspora worldwide.

Addressing those present, he said their fruitful cooperation with Ukraine was one of the elements of the country's Euro-Atlantic policies. Then the President told them what our government did to help its compatriots living abroad. He reiterated that an International Forum of Ukrainians would be held in Kyiv this August.

Mr. Yushchenko also said at a recent meeting of the Commission for Foreign Ukrainians its members had decided to give six hundred such Ukrainians special five-year permits to visit Ukraine.

“We will help Poles open a Polish Center in Lviv,” he said, adding that Ukraine and Poland were now considering financial and legal aspects of opening a Ukrainian Culture Center in Warsaw.

The community thanked the President and his government for trying to resolve their problems and assured him they felt Ukraine’s help and support.

During the meeting, the Head of State gave presents to Dionizy Radon and Oleksandr Bachek for helping bury Ukrainians massacred in the village of Pavlokoma.

Borys Tarasyuk, Foreign Minister, Yuriy Kostenko, MP, Petro Oliynyk, Lviv Governor, and Oleksandr Motsyk, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Ukraine, were present at the meeting.


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