Russian Ambassador summoned to Polish Foreign Ministry
PR dla Zagranicy
The Russian Ambassador in Warsaw Sergei Andreyev has been reprimanded at the Polish Foreign Ministry after speaking of 'Polish co-responsibility for the outbreak of WWII.'
Russian Ambassador in Warsaw at Poland's foreign ministry on Monday. Sergei Andreyev PAP/Rafał Guz
The Polish Foreign Ministry expressed a strong protest in connection with a TV interview in which Andreyev also blamed Poland for what he described as “Polish-Russian relations being in the worst state since 1945.”
Mr Andreyev was summoned to the ministry, where he was received by the head of the Eastern Affairs Department.
He was told that the opinions which he expressed in the interview are untrue and run counter to the stand of both Polish and Russian historians, including members of a Polish-Russian group for difficult matters.
The communique of the Polish Foreign Ministry also says that the Ambassador was reminded of the fact that the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact, which paved the way for the division of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union in September 1939, had been officially condemned by the Congress of Soviet Deputies and that the Russian Parliament [the Duma] adopted a resolution on the Katyn Forest massacre of Polish POWs on Stalin's orders in 1940.
Ambassador Andreyev was told that the diplomat’s role is to build trust and to work for the development of relations with the country of accreditation. In Warsaw’s view, Andreyev’s recent remarks do not serve these goals.
Andreyev said after the meeting that it was not his intention to insult the Polish nation, adding that what he meant was that it was the policy of the Polish government in the 1930s that resulted in the “catastrophe of the Second Polish Republic.”
“I was not accurate enough in my interview, and that’s what triggered the Polish reaction,” he said.
He reiterated his view that Polish-Russian relations are the worst since 1945 and stressed that his government does not change its stand on the question of the memorials and cemeteries of Soviet soldiers and continues to be critical of the removal of the brass relief of Red Army General Chernyakhovsky from a monument in Pieniężno in northern Poland.
Polish historians agree that the general, who is a national hero in Russia, crushed units of Poland’s clandestine Home Army and symbolizes the imposition of communist rule in Poland.
Meanwhile, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) has roundly condemned Andreyev's claims that Poland was partly responsible for the outbreak of World War II. (mk/nh/rk)