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"FT": President Duda says Putin distorts historical truth

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

TVN24 News in English, PAP
TVN24 News in EnglishPoland's president says he won't attend Holocaust event in Israel

In an interview for "Financial Times" published on Wednesday, Polish President Andrzej Duda accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin of spreading "historical lies" ahead of the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz-Birkenau liberation.

"Vladimir Putin's words are a complete distortion of historical truth. We've coined a name for it, it's an ideology, a sort of of post-Stalinist revisionism" - said Andrzej Duda referring to Vladimir Putin's comments made in December, in which he accused Poland of being partially responsible for the outbreak of the World War Two.

"Some claim this is a propagandist, hybrid war operation. Some experts say Putin's comments are used for the purpose of local propaganda. It makes no difference to us. What counts for us is that historical lies are being spread all over the world. We absolutely cannot accept it" - Polish president stressed.

"FT" wrote that Polish-Russian feud over history not only intensified the already tense relations between the two countries, but also cast a shadow on the commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and death camp. The daily also reminded that Polish president had been invited to an event at Yad Vashem institute in Jerusalem, but had rejected to take part after learning that he wouldn't be allowed to give speech, unlike Russian president Putin, as well as French and German heads of state, Emmanuel Macron and Frank Walter-Steinmeier.

President Duda underscored that him not being allowed to deliver a speech had nothing to do with any differences between Poland and Israel, because the Yad Vashem conference is an initiative of a private institution led by an oligarch having ties with the Kremlin - Vyatcheslav Moshe Kantor - and not the state of Israel.

U.S. House speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the museum on the site of the former Auschwitz concentration campPolish Senate

Mr Duda explained that, given the recent comments by Putin on the World War Two, a situation in which the Russian president was allowed to give speech, and not him, was unacceptable. "Frankly speaking, my absence in Yad Vashem will be a protest against distorting of history by the Russian president" - said Polish president

"FT" also mentions that the dispute with Russia takes place in the period of tense relations between Moscow and the EU, that's been going on since the Russian invasion of the Crimea in 2014, which resulted in the imposition of sanctions by the EU. Simultaneously, in recent months, French President Emmanuel Macron has made a series of overtures to improve relation with Russia.

Nevertheless, Andrzej Duda warned against any attempt to soften the EU sanctions on Russia. "We still support and demand respect for territorial integrity of Ukraine and Georgia. This is absolutely unacceptable that in the 21st century Russia is shifting borders by force," he said.

"We disagree with policy that would lead to easing or lifting of the sanctions and returning to relations with Russia like nothing has changed. We're convinced that such approach would only encourage Russia's aggressive actions, as it has been for the last 12 years, starting from Russian attack on Georgia in 2008" - Polish president explained.

Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP