Poland to legalize participation of Poles in Ukrainian army

The draft legislation will apply retrospectively to all Poles who have joined the Ukrainian armed forces dating back to 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: salon24.pl

A legislative draft submitted to parliament by both the ruling conservatives and the liberal and left opposition will make it legal for Polish citizens to serve in the Ukrainian armed forces without having to seek a dispensation to do so.

According to the draft, it will not longer be a criminal offense to serve in the Ukrainian army without official permission, and that will apply to all those who have served in the Ukrainian army since February 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. In addition, it will no longer be illegal to seek to recruit Polish or foreign subjects to the Ukrainian army.

At present, any Polish citizen wishing to serve in the armed forces of another state must seek permission from the Ministry of Defense. Any violation of this may be sanctioned by imprisonment for a period of three months to five years.

The legislative proposal covers all the armed services of Ukraine. It also makes clear that the Polish state is not responsible for the consequences of such service being offered. 

The politicians who submitted the draft argue that this is a measure which will support Ukraine and will act in Poland’s national interest.

An exception is being made in recognition of the fact that the invasion which Russia began back in 2014 is an extraordinary situation which impacts on the security of Poland. Therefore, those who sign up to fight for Ukraine are acting in the national interest against a state which does not hide that it has hostile intentions toward Poland.

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