Polish leaders blocked from White House meetings amid controversial Holocaust law: report

Polish leaders blocked from White House meetings amid controversial Holocaust law: report
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Polish leaders have reportedly been blocked from meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE and Vice President Pence until the country repeals a controversial law that makes it criminal to suggest Poland was complicit in acts committed by Nazis during the Holocaust. 

Politico Europe reports that Polish web portal Onet.pl obtained a Feb. 20 memo from Washington that quotes Wess Mitchell, the U.S. assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, as calling the law unacceptable. 


Mitchell told Warsaw that there would be “no high-level bilateral contacts between countries until the crisis gets solved," and that if Poland does not change the law, Congress would move to block the funding of military projects in Poland. 

Mitchell also warned of "dramatic actions" if any Americans were prosecuted in Poland for violating the law. 

The Hill has reached out to the State Department and the White House for comment. 

The Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement to The Hill that "bilateral strategic cooperation is not threatened, and diplomatic contacts are maintained at the current level."

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received signals that the American administration is concerned about the implementation of the amendment to the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance. However, since then, Polish diplomats have conducted a series of meetings, in which it was thoroughly explained to our partners, not only American, the scope of the proposed changes in Polish law and the essence of the legislative process in Poland," the ministry said. 

Polish government spokeswoman Joanna Kopcińska told the Polish Press Association on Tuesday that the U.S.-Polish relationship remains unthreatened. 

“The Polish-American bilateral strategic partnership is unthreatened, our diplomatic contacts will remain at the current level," Kopcińska said. 

The law officially went into effect last week. 

Israel has vocally opposed the law and has considered withdrawing its ambassador to Poland. 

The State Department has publicly urged Poland to reevaluate the law. 

Poland’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marek Magierowski visited Washington last week to meet with Jewish leaders and U.S. officials to discuss the backlash over the law. 

"There is a serious crisis in our relationship now with Israel and with the United States," he told reporters at breakfast at the Polish Embassy on Wednesday and admitted Poland "might have made a few mistakes" in its public rollout of the legislation. 

Magierowski said the law was designed to give "legal tool to counter the painful narrative that Poland is co-responsible for the Holocaust," and that government officials were "surprised" by the intensity of the backlash against the law.