Ukrainian’s Ambassador Andrii Deshchytsia
Ukrainian’s Ambassador Andrii Deshchytsia said that European Union funds are important for Poland because it helps Ukraine.
He said that his country is thankful for how the Poles have helped millions of Ukrainian refugees. However, he hopes the EU will soon give Poland billions of euros so that the help doesn’t come “at the cost of the Polish people.”
Polish welcome Ukraninans’ Refugees
He said that, in the three months since Ukrainians started crossing into Poland to find safety, there haven’t been any real social tensions. However, he is worried that they could happen in the future because Poland has helped so much.
The government has given the Ukrainians free health care, education, and other social services. More than 80% of the Ukrainians are living in private Polish homes. Deshchytsia said that Russian efforts to spread false information online have included spreading the idea that Ukrainians are treated better than Poles. He said that these efforts haven’t worked yet, but he’s worried that they could cause problems.
He told the Press on Friday that he’s worried about the boundaries of Polish hospitality.It’s a healthy and warm greeting. But for how long can they hold on to them? It makes sense to me, and it makes sense to my countrymen as well. They know there are limits to what they can do.
He thinks that the EU should give out billions of euros from a pandemic recovery package. He said that would also stop a large number of Ukrainians from getting frustrated in Poland and moving to another EU country.
Most of the 27 members of the bloc have received funds to help them recover from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, 36 billion euros that were supposed to go to Poland have been blocked because of a dispute over changes to the courts that were seen as lowering democratic standards.
The main point of disagreement is the Supreme Court’s disciplinary chamber, which has been used by Poland’s conservative government to suspend judges whose decisions they don’t like. The EU Commission wants to get rid of the chamber and bring back suspended judges. Poland has not done either of these things. The parliament is going to talk about ways to solve the crisis in the chamber next week.
Deshchytsia said that he wants both sides to try to find a middle ground and that he is urging both the EU and Poland to make this happen.
He said that Poland has demonstrated that they can handle this influx of refugees, using their own money to help them; It will benefit Poles and Ukrainians in Poland.
Deshchytsia thinks that there are now between 3 and 4 million Ukrainians living in Poland. About 1.5 million Ukrainians were already working, studying, or living in Poland before Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine. The rest of the Ukrainians have moved to Poland since then. In a country with 38 million people, this means that there are now somewhere between 10 and 12 million Ukrainians.
It’s not clear how many will stay. How long the war lasts will determine this.
Since the war started, about 3.5 million people have crossed from Ukraine into Poland, and more than 1.4 million have gone the other way. Some people who come to Poland go to other countries, but most choose to stay because they have friends or family there and share cultural and linguistic ties with Poles. Many also want to stay close to Ukraine because they hope to go back.
The ambassador said that Ukrainians often ask him if it’s safe to go back to their homes now that Russian forces have been pushed out of Kyiv and some other parts of the country. He doesn’t know what to say.
If circumstances aren’t steady, it’s impossible to say if you should return home or not. So I might tell you to go to Lviv, which is far from the front lines. But Lviv could be bombed like it was two or three days ago in just one day, and a rocket could hit your house or car, he said.
In the past, Poland and Ukraine had trouble getting along because of lingering tensions from the 20th century’s ethnic violence. The ambassador says that this has “changed a lot” because the threat from Russia has brought Poles and Ukrainians together.
At a summit on June 23 and 24, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and President Andrzej Duda will work harder to get the EU to give Ukraine the status of EU candidate. This is a sign that Poland backs Ukraine.
Since the war started, the ambassador says he often gets stopped on the street by people who want to thank him for helping the Ukrainians fight back against Russia. He says that they tell him, “You are fighting for your freedom and ours. We will help you as long as we have to.”