Ex-presidents see threat in rising Polish-Ukrainian tensions

Ex-presidents see threat in rising Polish-Ukrainian tensions
Former Polish presidents Aleksander Kwasniewski,left, and Bronislaw Komorowski,center, and the Ukrainian Ambassador to Poland Andrii Deshchytsia,right, speak to reporters about new strains in the Polish-Ukrainian relationship in Warsaw, Poland, Monday, May 28, 2018.The two Polish ex-presidents along with three former Ukrainian presidents issued a joint appeal for a return to Polish-Ukrainian unity amid strains in the relationship over historical issues at a time of rising nationalism in both countries. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Five ex-presidents from Poland and Ukraine have made a joint appeal for reconciliation between their nations as growing nationalism in both societies and provocations from Russia have strained the alliance.

Poland for years was one of the strongest advocates in the European Union and NATO for bringing Ukraine into the Western fold, a stance that infuriated Moscow. The alliance, however, has been strained in recent times, mostly over disagreements rooted in historical grievances.

The ex-presidents said they were concerned about the strains and that unity is needed today given “the challenge of Russian aggression to Ukraine.”

The appeal was presented at a news conference in Warsaw by the two former Polish presidents, Aleksander Kwasniewski and Bronislaw Komorowski, and also signed by Leonid Kravchuk, Leonid Kuchma and Viktor Yushchenko of Ukraine.