Poland Hopes Ties With U.S. Will Stay Unchanged

WARSAW (Reuters/Hamodia) -

Poland’s foreign ministry said on Thursday that Warsaw hopes relations with the United States will remain unchanged after the Polish parliament adopted a draft bill penalizing suggestions of any complicity by Poland in the Nazi Holocaust.

“We believe that the legislative work … despite differences in the assessment of the introduced changes, will not affect the strategic partnership between Poland and the United States,” the ministry said in a statement.

The U.S. State Department on Wednesday urged Poland to re-evaluate the draft law. The United States is concerned about the repercussions on Poland’s relations with the U.S. and Israel if it becomes law, Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

In Israel on Thursday, Likud Minister Yisrael Katz suggested that his government could prod the U.S. into a concrete response:

“If Israel takes action, then the U.S. will take action. And as a result, the Polish government will be forced to account for [the legislation],” said Katz in an interview with Army Radio. However, he did not discuss what action Israel should take.

The bill, which was approved by the Senate on Thursday morning by a vote of 57 to 23 and 2 abstentions, requires the signature of Poland’s President Andrzej Duda before it becomes law.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, whose country was also deeply involved in Holocaust crimes, said:

“I am deeply concerned by the decision of the Polish parliament.

“Historical truth calls for a frank conversation and dialogue and not prohibitions. The assessments which this decision contains are totally biased and completely unacceptable.”

Poroshenko added that the legislation violated principles of “strategic partnership” between the two countries, saying Ukraine remembered “common victories and the fight against totalitarian regimes,” the AFP reported.