The Polish Foreign Ministry urgently summoned the Russian ambassador in Warsaw on Saturday after statements made by Russian President Vladimir Putin that Poland described as provocative statements.
On Friday, the Russian president accused Poland of preparing retaliatory plans in order to control lands in western Ukraine, an accusation that the Russian authorities had made more than once before.
During a meeting of the National Security Council, Putin further asserted that the western regions of present-day Poland were a “gift from Stalin” to the Poles at the end of World War II.
Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski said the recall of the Russian ambassador comes in the wake of provocative statements by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, as well as threats and other unfriendly actions by the Russian Federation towards Poland and our allies.
“The meeting was very brief,” he told reporters after the meeting.
“The borders between the countries are absolutely inviolable, and Poland is against any revision,” Jablonski said.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki responded Friday evening to Putin via Twitter, repeating that “Stalin was a war criminal, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Poles” during and after World War II.
Jablonski stressed, “It was an attempt to polish the reputation of the war criminal Stalin by another war criminal, who is Putin today”.
In implementation of decisions taken by the Great Powers in 1945 in the aftermath of the World War, Poland’s borders were moved about 300 kilometers to the west, compared to pre-war map.
Accordingly, the Soviet Union retained the lands it annexed in 1939 in eastern Poland, while some areas that belonged to Germany were annexed to Poland.
Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Poland, a member of NATO, of having ambitions in the countries of the former Soviet Union, and said that any attack on Belarus, Moscow’s ally and neighbor, would be considered an attack on Russia.
Putin said in remarks during a meeting of the Russian Security Council broadcast on television today, Friday, that Moscow will respond with all the means it has to any attack on Belarus, which forms a loose union state with Russia.
According to the Polish Secretary of the Security Committee, the committee decided on Wednesday to transfer military units to eastern Poland after the arrival of members of the Russian private military group Wagner to Belarus, and deny any territorial ambitions in Belarus.
In his remarks, Putin also said that the western part of Poland was a gift from Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to the country and that Russia reminds the Poles of that.
Belarus said on Thursday that Wagner fighters had begun training Special Forces in Belarus in a military district a few miles from the border with Poland.
In recent weeks, Russia has begun deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus for the first time.
The Kremlin said Putin would meet Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on Sunday.
German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said on Friday that Germany and NATO were ready to support Poland in defending the eastern flank of the alliance.
Putin said there were press reports of plans to use a Polish-Lithuanian unit in operations in western Ukraine to eventually occupy territory there.
“It’s known that they also dream of the lands of Belarus,” he said, without providing any evidence.
Wagner’s commander, Yevgeny Prigozhin, appeared in a video last Wednesday welcoming his fighters to Belarus and telling them that they wouldn’t currently participate in the war in Ukraine, but ordered them to mobilize their forces for African operations, as well as training the Belarusian army.
Prigozhin says that Wagner, who led the grinding battle of the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, is Russia’s most effective fighting force.
However, the repeated clashes between him and the Russian defense establishment pushed him to an armed rebellion four weeks ago.