I’m suer most of you follow the news and heard about the horrible tragedy that happened last week to the Malaysian flight. The Polish government has called off preparations for the Polish Year in Russia amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the alleged shooting down by pro-Russian separatists of a Malaysian jetliner last week. The decision was taken after Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 was allegedly shot down by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine towards the end of last week, killing all 298 on board. This is the decision of the government, but both the foreign and culture ministers – Radosław Sikorski and Małgorzata Omilanowska respectively – unequivocally came to the conclusion that in this situation, it is impossible to follow through with the organisation of the Polish Year in Russia.
2015 was meant to be a year devoted to the celebration of Polish and Russian cultural ties, but due to the increasingly dismal situation in Ukraine, Poland has called off the festivities.
As a result of the government’s decision, all events that were set to be held as part of the year of bilateral celebration will be cancelled.
The Russian-Polish cross-cultural year was set in motion at a meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers in December 2013 in Warsaw. Its aim was to strengthen cultural ties between the two countries.
Russian Year in Poland will also be cancelled as a result.
In the aftermath of the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last week, a catastrophe that claimed 298 lives, Poland joined the chorus of other Western countries accusing Russia of having destabilized Ukraine and perpetuated the conflict in its east.
The European Union and the U.S. have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russian officials over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, which has intensified exponentially following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March.
After a much-disputed referendum was held to decide Crimea’s fate, similar referendums were launched in other cities in eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists have taken up arms and refused to recognize the new authorities in Kiev, calling instead for integration into Russia.
Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)