[March 15,2017] Inauguration of Vasyl Stus square in Warsaw symbolizes fraternity, dignity and freedom of Poles, Ukrainians

WarsawThe Vasyl Stus square was inaugurated in Warsaw on March 15, 2017. The opening ceremony brought together more than 60 people including Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Andriy Deshytsya, Ambassador of Ukraine to Poland, as well as a group of politicians from Warsaw self-government institutions, who took the lead in the event.

In February the Warsaw Municipal Council supported the initiative of members of the political party Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska) to name a square in the center of the Polish capital city for Vasyl Stus. The decision was grounded on the fact that “Vasyl Stus was a Ukrainian poet and oppositionist”, as well as “Polonophil and advocate of Polish-Ukrainian unity”, Jaroslaw Shostakowsky of the Civic Platform club told the Radio Liberty.

During the opening ceremony Mr. Shostakowsky pointed out that the decision was made in consideration of Polish-Ukrainian tensions “when such gestures are of significant importance”. In addition, the member of the Warsaw self-government promised that the municipal council would disseminate information about Vasyl Stus among residents of the Polish capital and a signboard bearing information on the Ukrainian poet would be installed in the square.

Unveiling a tablet with the name of a new square, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin thanked local policymakers and stated that Warsaw was the first city among European capitals, which engraved the course of life of Vasyl Stus in its space.

According to Polish journalist Iza Hruslinska, the Stus biography is a landmark in Ukraine and Poland because “he was the man of European culture”.

The Vasyl Stus square was inaugurated against the backdrop of Polish-Ukrainian tensions, particularly vandalizing of WWII memorials to Poles and Ukrainians, which were built both in Ukraine and Poland.Yuri Reit, former head of the Association of Ukrainians in Poland, indicated that the inauguration of the Vasyl Stus square in the Polish capital was one of the signals of an improvement in bilateral relations.

Participants in the opening ceremony recited poems by Vasyl Stus and planted the bush of the guelder rose as a “symbol of Ukraine in the center of Warsaw”.

The Vasyl Stus square is situated at an intersection of Independence Avenue and Stefan Batory Street near the National Library of Poland and the Warsaw School of Economics, the largest economic university in the country.

Incidentally, the square with a monument to Taras Shevchenko, which was also inaugurated in March 15 years ago, is located nearby.Nike React Element 55