Why Ukraine should not be afraid of restitution

Почему Украине не следует бояться реституции

The original page, Taras Chornovil in Facebook

Now gradually starts to spin discreditation another horror story from Russia. It’s not someone from local politicians, and the themes of our European integration. So, hopefully, we will act unanimously. This is the second attempt to launch a fake campaign against the Association Agreement with the EU. We have already seen, when suddenly in October of last year, social networks and more channels started to spin the theme that the Agreement poses risks, not only economic (the subject of the Russian agents spins constantly). Then began to frighten (our own “experts”), that the rules of Agreement we will be obliged to implement the decisions of the courts on restitution (return of property rights violations in kind or money in case of loss of property) to Polish claimants who lost property after a forced mutual resettlement in 1944 and partly in 1945 the poles and Ukrainians.

In fact, they scared the Western Ukraine, because the theme was mainly related to her that almost all of the property, the buildings will be selected by the Ukrainians and handed over to the heirs of the former owners from Poland. I heard in Lviv from quite adequate people panic statements that this is a disaster, we may not hurry with the introduction of Agreements and the like. So, even then, our lawyers (I wrote about this in “Mirror of the week”) explained that it was absurd of such consequences from the Agreement does not imply and may not be. But the issue died down by itself, because in the Netherlands the lobbying work of the Russian scheme of the referendum. To spend money on two projects did not. But since that time things have changed. Dutch after a cold shower we managed to recover and re-enter to continue with the EU. And suddenly again everything is intensified (it is interesting that after Russian and Pro-Russian sources): restitution, one hundred thousand lawsuits (actually 100 planned and prepared as much as 2, and then in the blank), people will be evicted from their apartments… So we need to explain what kind of “restitution Borderlands” and why this process is organized in Russia and has no legal consequences.

Last autumn in Poland, the Pro-Kremlin (also called fully undercover) party “Smena” with great difficulty found a group of Crecy (in Poland called the former inhabitants of our Western Ukraine, deported to Poland after the war). It wasn’t easy, because kresy, though mostly hostile to the Ukrainians, but Russia simply hate. The few issued to a group of “Restitution Borderlands”. For some time they have prepared two lawsuits that were going to submit to the courts of Kiev and Lutsk, but failed because of the events described above, and maybe tried, but received a reasoned refusal. After that no activity the organization did not show. According to some, it actually ceased to exist. And only to resuscitate in the Russian media. They say that some information was spread in Poland, but to discover the structure outside the party office “Zmiany” I failed. So, with those whose it is a project, like we figured.

Is there a threat that the provocation will be taken up by the ruling right-and quite populist and nationalist party Pis (law and Justice) that would’ve been much nastier, but only with political, not legal consequences? IPR quite a unpredictable party, but unlike other right-wing parties in Europe, they have a good line – I hate Moscow no less than we are. And “Smena”, though marginal, but the climb in the electoral field of IPRs. Therefore, it is unlikely he will want to play along. And regarding the topic of restitution, it is the Polish authorities are not very profitable. Team Duda are already well beat pots with Germany, and in present-day Poland, a third of all buildings – the former property of the Germans, who meticulously collected documents and sometimes they remind us of their potential rights.

Now the legal part, why it’s all just propaganda with no legal consequences. Restitution can only be imposed by the internal laws (except in the case of a peace Treaty or surrender at the end of the war). For example, Lithuania introduced the restitution of former owners who have property seized, or who were forced to leave the country. But, as I remember, this restitution applies only to the Lithuanians, not poles, who owned most of the buildings of the Vilnius region, that is, those who predicted domestic law. The adoption of a law on restitution may require international agreement, but said that such a provision in the Association Agreement, there can not be, because it would be contrary to the Constitution, which establishes the inviolability of property rights that are already recognized in Ukraine. To somehow hint at restitution, the agreement with the EU would have to contain substantive (but not procedural) rights or at least reference the rules of other international treaties that do not exist.

So in today’s contractual framework, no threats. Maybe some liabilities have arisen from the legal acts of the time of the deportations? And here just the most interesting. All legal aspects of the mutual deportations of poles from the Soviet Union and the Lithuanians, Belarusians and Ukrainians from Poland and related acts regulate the so-called Układy republikańskie (1944). This set of three agreements, signed Polski Komitet Wyzwolenia Narodowego with the three republics of the Union. The text appears the statement that resettlement is entirely voluntary, but in fact everything happened by force, under escort, with dogs, minimum time charges and a very restricted list of assets that could to take. The cruelty of the Communist authorities from both sides was terrible. But Ukrainians in Poland are also killed soldiers of the underground home Army. Similar actions by the UPA in this period was not reported by even the most chauvinistic Polish sources. But do sincerely sympathize follows the victims of both deportations, because it is terrible savagery and crime against humanity.

And I come now to the main item for us Orders. First intentionally quote from the Polish Wikipedia: Za pozostawione “za Bugiem” mienie (tzw. mienie zabużańskie), zarówno ruchome, jak i nieruchome (domy, zabudowania gospodarcze, grunty, itd.), polscy przesiedleńcy if uzyskać od wartości zwrot rzą du polskiego. Before reading the text of the agreement in the original, so confirm that the official text corresponds to this statement: “For the abandoned beyond the bug river property, exactly movable, and immovable (houses, outbuildings, grounds, etc.) of Polish immigrants were to receive compensation from the government of Poland.” In the Agreement the same words, as I remember, relate and Ukrainians. Therefore, no restitution claims by definition cannot be. Moreover, almost all Polish immigrants actually received compensation for real estate in kind through the same deported Germans. Crecy were moved mainly to “sm odzyskane” that is returned after escolastica possession of the Germans. They settled on German farms, in homes, in apartments with most of the property and inventory of the previous owners. Therefore, the justice is partially preserved. Partially, because any deportation is a travesty of injustice.

With the Ukrainians “native” Soviet government has not behaved so humanely. Them, with certain exceptions, will not be settled in Polish lands and apartments in Galicia, and was taken in Kazakhstan and on the sun-scorched Kherson (then irrigation was not, the earth lay barren and dry). The poles have the deportation mostly lived in cities in their apartment and all the property seized by the Soviet military, Mglisty, subspeciality (almost all came from other republics). So for today’s Ukrainians do not arise neither legal nor political or moral obligation. There is only the duty of mourning and compassion for all the victims on both sides. But Russia, which bears the whole burden of responsibility for moral and legal succession now, and have not repented for their crimes continues to weave a filthy plot. And who will play along with them, spreading panic runs on the enemy, regardless: of stupidity or for money…

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