Karta Polaka - Applicants


According to Grzegorz Opalinski, consul general of Poland in Lviv, the number of Poles interested in receiving the Card may reach 200,000 in Western Ukraine. Polish consular services in Lviv received around 20,000 applications in the month of February 2009 alone. To meet the demand, consulates in both Lviv and Lutsk had to employ additional staff. Also, additional consulates of Poland were opened in January 2009, in Vinnytsia and Ivano-Frankivsk.

The process is hampered by the stance of governments of some nations, especially Belarus and Lithuania. In Lithuania, a conservative MP Gintaras Songaila publicly stated that two MPs who represent Polish minority there (Waldemar Tomaszewski and Michal Mackiewicz) should resign, because they accepted the Card. Similar opinion has been presented by Andrius Kubilius. Also, another problem is poor command of Polish language, which is one of conditions of granting the card. In Ukraine, according to estimates of Polish consul in Kiev, Edward Dobrowolski, only about half applicants received their cards.

Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed in late January 2009, that most applicants come from the areas of Hrodna, Brest, Lutsk and Lviv. 85% of all applicants were residents of either Belarus or Ukraine. However, there are applicants from other states as well. On March 9, 2009, the first Card in Azerbaijan was received by Ms. Helena Szejch-Zade, while Polish consulate in Chişinău, Moldova, has been receiving a number of applications, mostly from the town of Bălţi, where lives a 2,000-strong Polish minority.

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