The Polish foreign ministry on Friday summoned Russia’s ambassador to express its “strong objection” to “historical insinuations” made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, after he accused Poland of anti-Semitism and colluding with Hitler.
The meeting with the Russian ambassador to Poland, Sergei Andreyev, took place as bilateral tensions are running high, with NATO and EU member Poland fearing what has been described as Russian military adventurism and imperialist tendencies.
Poland expressed its “strong objection to the historical insinuations made by the highest Russian state authorities over the last few days,” Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz told the Polish news agency PAP.
It was a reference to Putin’s comments at the Russian defense ministry on Tuesday, when he said a pre-war Polish ambassador allegedly promised to put up a statue of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in Warsaw for his pledge to send Jews to Africa.
“A bastard, an anti-Semitic pig, you cannot put it any other way,” Putin said, referring to what he said were the diaries of the Polish ambassador in Germany.
“He expressed full solidarity with Hitler in his anti-Semitic views,” Putin said.
Earlier this month Putin also blamed the Western powers and Poland for World War II, pointing to various treaties signed with Nazi Germany before the conflict began in 1939.
The Polish foreign ministry stressed Friday that “Poland was the first country to engage in armed resistance in September 1939 against the German army, which was backed by the Soviet Union.”
“The outcome of German aggression and extermination was the murder of nearly six million Polish citizens, including three million Jews,” the ministry told PAP.
It added that Russia “is trying to minimize the Soviet Union’s shared responsibility for destroying peace in Europe. The Soviet Union in 1939-1941 was an ally of Adolf Hitler’s Germany.”
Ahead of the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union agreed to carve up Eastern Europe between them in a secret clause of the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
The Soviets attacked Poland on September 17, 1939, and occupied part of its territory before Hitler launched a surprise attack against the USSR in 1941.