Welcome to the EU! Poles Remind Ukrainians About The Restitution Of Property


Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ

30th December, 2015


“Welcome to the European Union! Together with our possessions” – so began the leaflet that was distributed among Ukrainian migrants staying in Poland by participants of the organization “Restitution Borderlands”. The organization seeks the return of Polish property to the heirs of those who lived in Western Ukraine prior to its annexation by the USSR.

“We just want to remind people that Kiev has agreed certain terms of Association with the EU. Of course, nobody has asked Ukrainians, but, once the government provides such an opportunity, the poles will seek lawsuits demanding compensation for property of their ancestors” – quoted Jaroslaw Augustyniak from the organization “Restitution Borderlands”, according to the resource “Politnavigator”.

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“With great joy we, Polish citizens, the heirs of owners of homes, estates, real estate, factories, of any property that has remained in the Eastern territories of the Polish Republic, kindly invite Ukraine and Ukrainians into the common European family”, the leaflet stated.

“We own about $5 billion of property not only within the old borders of the Second Polish Republic, but everywhere that was (and according to the law – and still is) Polish property before the revolution. Not all of us will take money, some will take away land and homes. We expect from you full commitment and cooperation if you want our help, if you want to join the European Union and NATO”.

Also, the authors of the leaflets remind people that Poland itself has already passed through restitution, while entering the EU. Many poles were forced to return the property to the Germans and the Jews.

The distribution of these leaflets was held near the Warsaw center “Ukrainian world”, the Embassy of Ukraine, as well as the Church of the Dormition, located in the Polish capital.

To recap, earlier, Arseny Yatsenyuk, speaking at a meeting with the delegation of Poland, called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact criminal, the signing of which annexed Western Ukraine to the Ukrainian SSR from Poland.

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