Ukraine agrees to Polish exhumations on two sites

Szczerski said he had received the permits for the search work from Zhovkva at the meeting. Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

Ukraine has given Poland the green light to start searches for the remains of Polish soldiers who died during Poland's defensive war of 1939 near Lviv, Polish president's chief aide Krzysztof Szczerski has told PAP. The permit concerns two sites.

A consultation committee of Polish and Ukrainian presidents met in Lviv on Tuesday to discuss the implementation of the arrangements the heads of state made in August in Warsaw.

Szczerski attended the Tuesday talks along with the deputy head of Ukraine's President's Office, Ihor Zhovkva.

Szczerski said he had received the permits for the search work from Zhovkva at the meeting.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said during his visit to Poland on the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII on September 1 that he was ready "to lift the moratorium on exhumation work in Ukraine, and the Polish side will attend to Ukrainian remembrance sites in Poland."

In late September, Ukrainian Deputy Foreign Minister Vasyl Bodnar said that Ukraine had positively responded to Poland's motion for consent to the renewal of the search for and exhumations of Polish victims of conflicts, who have been buried on Ukrainian territory.

There has been an ongoing dispute between Warsaw and Kiev since the spring of 2017, after Ukraine banned all exhumations carried out by Poland in Ukraine following the removal of a memorial to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) in Hruszowice, southeastern Poland.