Poland expels three Russian diplomats for "detrimental activities"
Russian Ambassador to Poland, Sergei Andreyev, was summoned on Thursday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw, where he received a diplomatic note declaring three employees of the Russian Embassy "personae non gratae".
"The basis for this decision was the violation of diplomatic status and carrying out activities to the detriment of the Republic of Poland by the indicated persons" - Poland's MFA wrote in a statement.
"Poland expresses its full solidarity with the decisions taken by the United States on April 15, 2021 regarding its policy towards Russia. The decisions jointly made and agreed upon allies constitute the most appropriate response to the hostile actions by the Russian Federation" - the statement reads.
"Poland has received with great concern the information provided by the U.S. Government regarding the cyberattacks conducted by the Russian Federation using Solar Winds Orion systems and software Fact Sheet. The impact of these attacks extends beyond the US and affects European countries, among others. The steady increase in malicious activities in cyberspace not only threatens the security and stability of the functioning of individual entities or systems using digital technologies, but also has a harmful impact on societies, economies or governments of many countries" - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a separate statement.
"Poland stands solidary with the United States. Our position is expressed in the statements of NATO and the European Union. We strongly advocate that states, the private sector and individuals adhere to the principles of responsible behavior in cyberspace. This is a position we have consistently presented at the EU, NATO, OSCE, UN and other international organizations. Conducting or supporting malicious cyber activities by states, calls into question their intentions as participants in international processes to strengthen cybersecurity on a global scale" - the ministry said.
The United States on Thursday imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia, including curbs to its sovereign debt market, to punish it for interfering in last year's U.S. election, cyber-hacking, bullying Ukraine and other alleged "malign" actions.
The U.S. government blacklisted Russian companies, expelled Russian diplomats and barred U.S. banks from buying sovereign bonds from Russia's central bank, national wealth fund and finance ministry. Washington also warned the Kremlin that more penalties were possible though the United States said it did not want to escalate.
Moscow reacted angrily, saying this dangerously raised the temperature between the two countries and called into question a possible summit between the U.S. and Russian leaders. It also summoned the U.S. ambassador for a diplomatic dressing-down.
Russia denies meddling in U.S. elections, orchestrating a cyber hack that used U.S. tech company SolarWinds Corp to penetrate U.S. government networks and using a nerve agent to poison Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Russia will expel three Polish diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to Warsaw's move to expel three Russian diplomats, Interfax news agency quoted the deputy head of international affairs at the lower house of parliament as saying on Thursday.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP, Poland's MFA, Reuters