Poland explains why Putin is not invited to World War II commemoration

Krzysztof Szczerski, Chief of Cabinet for Polish President Andrzej Duda, explained the president’s decision not to invite Vladimir Putin to the events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the start of World War II, Radio Liberty reports.

Szczerski told the Polish Press Agency that Poland will commemorate the date alongside representatives of countries that cooperate with Warsaw to ensure peace on the basis of compliance with international law and respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries.

“Breaking these rules was a hallmark of the aggressors of 1939, and remains the greatest threat to peace today,” Szczerski observed.

The heads of NATO states, including Germany, and of Eastern Partnership countries such as Ukraine and Belarus, have received invites, as well as the UN Secretary General.

On Wednesday the Russian Foreign Ministry commented that it was surprised by President Duda’s decision not to invite Putin, and that the decision “ignores historical logic”. In response, Szczerski said that it is problematic to invoke “historical logic” if one takes into account the context of September 1939 (on 17 September 1939, Soviet troops began seizing territories in Eastern Poland, annexing them to the Ukrainian and Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republics).

The decision not to invite Putin was made despite the Polish Foreign Ministry’s recommendation that he be invited. The Russian President was one of the guests at the commemorative events for the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II, which were also held in Poland.

  Poland, Russia, Putin, NATO, Warsaw, Duda