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Ukrainian head of Polish NGO in Berlin despite expulsion from Schengen

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 13.09.2018 14:23
The Ukrainian head of a Poland-based NGO has visited Berlin despite recently being expelled from the European Union after her name was flagged in Schengen’s border control system, according to a report by Poland’s onet.pl news portal.
Photo: Radio PolandPhoto: Radio Poland

According to the website, Ludmila Kozlovska went to the German capital on the invitation of Bundestag member Frank Schwabe.

According to Poland's wpolityce.pl news portal, Schwabe "portrays himself as a great defender of human rights, but for many years has backed the Russian lobby in German politics. He has also defended Russia when it annexed Crimea and criticised the revolution which brought freedom to Ukraine".

Kozlovska was issued a special visa, according to media reports, so that she could attend a conference on Thursday about rule-of-law violations in Poland and Hungary.

Kozlovska reportedly told onet.pl that she would tell the conference “how Polish authorities, with the help of misinformation, personal attacks and the whole state apparatus, wanted to expel me from Poland,” Kozlovska was quoted by onet.pl as saying.

She reentered the Schengen area just one month after being expelled, onet.pl reported.

According to the website, her name was added to the Schengen Information System after Poland’s Internal Security Agency negatively reviewed Kozlovska’s application to reside in the European Union long-term.

Stanisław Żaryn, the spokesman for Poland’s special services coordinator, Mariusz Kamiński, said the Polish agency had “serious doubts concerning the financing of the Open Dialogue Foundation, which is run by Ludmila Kozlovska”.

But Kozlovska said the move was “Kamiński’s personal political revenge on my husband, Bartosz Kramek” onet.pl reported, adding that Kramek had been involved in “anti-government civic movements”.

Onet.pl reported that Kozlovska also said that the agency’s opinion was the latest in a series of attempts to discredit her Open Dialogue Foundation.

Kozlovska also said that her deportation had complicated her plans to take part in the planned Bundestag conference, entitled: “Human rights under threat – the dismantling of the rule of law in Poland and Hungary”, but that she was issued a special visa which allowed her to attend, onet.pl reported.

According to Kozlovska, Polish authorities find her to be a threat to the Polish national interest, but she claims to be defending both Polish and European interests, which happen not to be in line with the interests of Poland’s ruling conservatives, onet.pl reported.

Kozlovska is not the first person to enter the European Union despite being banned from the area, according to media reports.

According to the dziennik.pl news website, earlier this year Valery Gerasimov, the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia -- against whom the European Union introduced sanctions after Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in 2014 -- met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

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