Poland drops passport plan that angered Ukraine, Lithuania

AP News
Posted: Sep 11, 2017 12:22 PM
Poland drops passport plan that angered Ukraine, Lithuania

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Polish government has abandoned a plan to illustrate Polish passports with images of landmarks that are today within the borders of Ukraine and Lithuania, the interior minister said Monday.

The plan had angered both of the neighboring countries, with the Ukrainian government calling it an "unfriendly step."

The disputed images were of a Polish military cemetery in Lviv, Ukraine, and the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Poland's Interior Minister Mariusz Blaszczak said his ministry has picked two other landmarks as replacements.

The proposal by Poland's nationalist-conservative government appeared to break a longstanding practice of not making any claim, even symbolic, to territories Poland lost in the redrawing of borders during the 20th century.

The new passports are to be introduced in 2018 for the 100th anniversary of Poland regaining its independence after more than a century of foreign rule. The documents' pages will feature background images of 26 national symbols.