WARSAW — The Russian ambassador to Poland has prompted outrage here for putting some of the blame for World War II on Poland, creating a new spat amid deepening tensions between the nations.
Ambassador Sergey Andreev of Russia on Friday described the Soviet Union’s 1939 invasion of Poland as an act of self-defense, not aggression. Poland’s Foreign Ministry responded on Saturday, saying the ambasador “undermines historical truth” and seemed to be trying to justify the crimes of Stalin, then the Soviet leader.
World War II began after Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sealed a pact in 1939 that included a secret provision to carve up Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe. Germany soon invaded Poland from the West, followed by a Soviet invasion from the east 16 days later. Millions of Poles were killed in the war.
In an interview broadcast on the private TVN station, Mr. Andreev also said: “Polish policy led to the disaster in September 1939, because during the 1930s Poland repeatedly blocked the formation of a coalition against Hitler’s Germany. Poland was therefore partly responsible for the disaster which then took place.”
Poland’s Foreign Ministry expressed “surprise and alarm” at those comments, and Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna summoned Mr. Andreev for a meeting on Monday.
“The narrative presented by the highest official representative of the Russian state in Poland undermines the historical truth and reflects the most hypocritical interpretation of the events known from the Stalinist and Communist years,” the ministry said in a statement.
Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz of Poland also expressed displeasure with the ambassador.
Relations have never been easy since Poland, a former Soviet bloc nation, rejected Moscow’s control and embraced the West, joining NATO and the European Union. But tensions have been especially high since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, a step that Poland has strongly condemned.
- to prompt outrage – wywołać oburzenie
- a spat – sprzeczka
- amid – pośród
- tension – napięcie
- self-defense – samoobrona
- to respond – odpowiadać
- to seem – wydawać się
- to undermine – podkopywać, podważać
- to seal a pact – zawrzeć pakt
- to carve up – kroić na kawałki
- to invade – napadać
- to broadcast – transmitować
- lead – led – led to – prowadzić do
- therefore – zatem
- to summon for a meeting – wezwać na spotkanie
- narrative – narracja
- to reflect – odzwierciedlać
- a statement – oświadczenie
- to express displeasure – wyrazić niezadowolenie
- to reject – odrzucać
- to embrace – zostać zwolennikiem
- to annex – anektować
- to condemn – potępiać
Na podstawie: The New York Times & dailymail.co.uk