Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz explained to his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov why Russia has not been invited to the commemorative events for the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II in September. According to Czaputowicz, Russia has not and will not be invited, because they want to commemorate “in a European circle”. The Polish minister also remarked that in 1939, it was Russia that freed Adolf Hitler’s hands, Sieci reports.
“States from NATO, the European Union and the Eastern Partnership have been invited. We want to commemorate this date in our European circle. The fact is, on 1 September 1939, Russia was not part of the war, except in the context of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which to a certain extent freed Hitler’s hands. Russia joined the war on 17 September as Hitler’s ally, committing aggression against Poland. In January 2020 we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, and in this case, the Russian delegation’s visit will be acceptable,” Czaputowicz explained.
He also noted that, during talks in May, Lavrov complained about the removal of Red Army memorials in Poland.
“In response, I said that the soldiers’ graves, the cemeteries are being preserved carefully, and the idea arose that, perhaps, we should show this clearly to Russian journalists. As for the symbols of communism, we are entitled to get rid of them. I spoke about willingness to talk to Russia about historical topics, at least in the context of a commission for difficult issues, it hardly works. On Russia’s part, however, there is not enough openness on this matter. Minister Lavrov also touched on the matter of the lack of invitation to the September events for the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II,” the Polish Foreign Minister remarked.
At the same time, Czaputowicz emphasized that “despite the differences, we need to talk,” and that “several issues could possibly be resolved”.
Polish President Andrzej Duda invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to visit Warsaw on the anniversary of the start of World War II. Zelensky responded that he was “happy to accept President Duda’s invitation”.
Duda said that it was his first meeting with Ukraine’s incumbent president, and expressed the hope that much could be achieved for both nations through joint efforts. Duda gave his assurances that Poland would continue to support Ukraine’s efforts to restore its territorial integrity, sovereignty and the borders recognized by the global community.