Джерела і методологія дослідження сучасних українсько-польських відносин
One of the most important vectors of Ukraine’s contemporary development is its active policy in bilateral relations with the leading European countries, since such a policy opens the way for recognition of its European identity and forms unlimited opportunities for international cooperation on a mutually beneficial basis. Among the closest partners and the most reliable allies of Ukraine was and remains Poland, because here, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians live, work and study without any special problems. In addition, the strengthening of strategic partnership with Poland contributes to the practical realization of the European choice of Ukraine. On the other hand, Poles are interested in the territorial integrity, independence and European orientation of Ukraine, seeing it an ally in confronting external threats.
In connection with the aforementioned one of the most important directions of the study of the state and prospects of modern Ukrainian-Polish relations is the elucidation of the sources and methodology of their comprehension comprehension. Although any classification is conditional, it is still worth trying to identify the main sources whose potential is intended to strengthen the relations between the two countries and outline the methodological aspects of their use in order to strengthen Ukrainian-Polish cooperation. First of all, such sources should include the following.
1. The ideological and theoretical work of the representatives of Ukraine and Poland, aimed at finding ways to deepen mutual understanding between the two peoples. At the same time, particular attention should be paid to strategic considerations expressed on both sides, as well as reservations about the risks that accompany bilateral relations. Along with this, the important points for studying are the positions of people who are distinguished for their diligence, openness to mutual respect and mutual understanding. The ideological and theoretical potential of Ukrainian and Polish intellectuals, aimed at convergence, the dialogue of the cultures of the two countries, still needs to be properly studied and systematized, and can serve as an important basis for the state-building efforts of Ukraine and Poland in the future.
2. External and domestic legal acts and documents of strategic direction aimed at strengthening of bilateral relations. This vector of relationships was already established at the turn of the 20th - 21st centuries in the relevant international legal and internal documents: the Declaration on the Principles and Main Directions of Ukrainian-Polish Relations (October 13, 1990); Treaty on Good Neighborhood, Friendly Relations and Cooperation (May 18-19, 1992); Agreement on the legal status of the Ukrainian-Polish border (January 12, 1993); Communique on the results of the meeting of the Consultative Committee of the Presidents of Ukraine and the Republic of Poland (September 27-28, 1995); Joint Statement for Understanding and Integration (May 21, 1997); Security Strategies of the Republic of Poland (2000); National Concept of Strategic Partnership Relations with the Republic of Poland (July 27, 2001); in a paper presented by the Polish political experts «The Eastern Policy of the Union in the Perspective of its Expansion through the States of Central and Eastern Europe - the Polish Point of View» (October 2003). Sufficiently strong legal and regulatory framework for bilateral relations between Ukraine and Poland is evidence of a gradual strengthening of political, economic, international legal and cultural cooperation. At the same time, a number of problems remain inadequate. First of all, it concerns border cooperation, common historical heritage, education, labor migration, etc.
3. Institutional system for the provision and coordination of mutual strategic interests of the two states. Today, this coordination is jointly carried out by: the Advisory Committee of the Presidents of Ukraine and the Republic of Poland; Ukrainian-Polish Mixed Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation; Ukrainian-Polish and Polish-Ukrainian parliamentary groups; Permanent Ukrainian-Polish Conference on European Integration; Polish Institute in Kyiv; Ukrainian-Polish, Polish-Ukrainian forums, Foundation Research Center Poland-Ukraine and others. In addition, there are a number of research structures in each of the countries that are highly specialized in the Polish-Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Polish issues. Accordingly, this direction should be monitored and the current evaluation of the effectiveness of these or other structural units should be carried out on the subject of a real impact on the quality of bilateral relations. At the same time, mutual understanding should be sought on the basis of openness, dialogue, compromise, and the avoidance of the formation of structures focused on unilateral consideration of disputed problems.
4.State-political decisions in the field of security policy, anti-hybrid foreign-policy threats. A real threat to the entire European security system was the aggressive policy of Russia in 2014. Under these conditions, Ukraine was the leading outpost of protecting European values and democratic order. Systemic comprehension of the existing experience in a vital military-strategic sphere will help to optimize the directions of further cooperation, in particular on such important issues as: the final determination by Ukraine of the transition to international standards in the military sphere; exchanging experience of reforming the troops and maintaining their combat readiness at an appropriate level; combining the efforts of all EU countries in combating hybrid threats, as well as conducting a single foreign and security policy; consolidated actions of the European states in relation to the offending state (point of application of sanctions, embargo, etc.); to develop, on the basis of the UN, a common position on the unconditional implementation by all countries of the world of the requirements of international law and the search for ways to improve it in order to resolve non-standard situations; the study of the NATO countries by the unique Ukrainian experience of functioning the state in a hybrid war.
5. The ideological and theoretical potential of public events (scientific conferences, debates, discussions, official meetings) that promote reconciliation with respect to controversial historical events, the dissolution of persistent stereotypes. From time to time, the recurrence of historical hostility between the two neighboring countries is given significant, including at the official level. First of all, these are the negative manifestations of mutual opposition, such as: the war of monuments to the dead Poles and Ukrainians; the dissemination at the level of mass consciousness of outdated stereotypical ideas humiliating national dignity; attempts to politicize the policy of memory through speculation on the tragic events of the past, in which the representatives of both nations suffered; the criticisms of the Polish radicals about the re-establishment of the Commonwealth at the borders of 1939 and the ill-conceived statements of some Ukrainians, which prompted «to forget about Poland for 25 years». The realization by Poland of offensive historical politics in Ukraine creates a reciprocal reaction in the issue of Ukraine’s implementation of its policy of memory and causes various kinds of distortions. Therefore, under the current conditions, monopolization of the policy of memory at the state level, without involving the general public, is extremely dangerous for the future. This remark applies to both Poland and Ukraine.
Thus, despite current problems, today we have every reason to state the significant level of Ukrainian-Polish cooperation. At the same time, in the bilateral relations between Ukraine and Poland it is worth looking first and foremost on positive things, consolidating in the mass consciousness what unites the two Eastern European countries, to highlight the views of people who for years build a Polish-Ukrainian understanding: translate books, establish scientific cooperation, restore cemeteries, collect help for soldiers who guarantee European security in eastern Ukraine. The progressive forces of both countries, regardless of the various kinds of provocations, should be abstracted from the insinuations of the marginal environment, reveal wisdom in assessing historical events, and determine common priorities not only for the medium term, but also for the long-term perspective. The level of mutual relations between the two countries depends on the possibility of realizing the needs of national minorities - Ukrainian in Poland and Polish in Ukraine. In addition, the strengthening of intergovernmental cooperation will contribute to establishing closer cooperation between Ukrainian and Polish societies in general, which depends largely on the future of both countries in the European House of Spies.
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