“Diplomats must enjoy special protection, regardless of their government’s policies,” Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said after Russian Ambassador Sergei Andreyev was sprayed with red paint in the capital Warsaw on May 9, describing the incident as “extreme terrible”.
However, Polish government spokesman Piotr Muller said on May 10 that the anger of the protesters who attacked the Russian ambassador Andreyev was “understandable” and that there was “no reason to criticize the behavior”.
Russia should avoid stoking such angry emotions, the spokesman added. Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski also tweeted: “The rally of opponents of the Russian military operation in Ukraine is perfectly legal. The feelings of the Ukrainian women who took part in the protests, who have husbands fighting to protect the country, are understandable.”
Poland’s interior minister added that Polish officials had earlier warned Russian ambassador Andreev not to lay a wreath at the Soviet soldiers’ cemetery in Warsaw on May 9.
After Ambassador Andreev was sprayed with red paint, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the action, saying that “neo-fascist fans have shown their face again”.
“Like I said before, we won’t be intimidated. Europeans must feel bad when they look in the mirror,” added spokeswoman Zakharova.
Relations between Moscow and Warsaw are strained because of the Russian military campaign in Ukraine. Poland, Ukraine’s western neighbor, has led calls for the European Union to tighten sanctions against Moscow and for NATO to supply Ukraine with weapons to counter Russian forces.
Kremlin spokesman Peskov last week accused Poland of posing a potential threat to “Ukraine’s territorial integrity.” Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, warned in March that Poland would not pay a high price for the “anti-Russian syndrome”.
Ngoc app (Corresponding NFP/AP)