updated 9:43 AM UTC, Dec 29, 2017

Polish President Andrzej Duda signed the law of June 22, 2017, on amendments to the law of April 1, 2016, banning Communism or any other totalitarian system propaganda, which specifically provide for the removal of monuments and memorial plaques to the Soviet soldiers who liberated Poland from Nazi occupation in 1944-1945.

Russia has repeatedly drawn Warsaw’s attention to the fact that these actions are a direct violation of the international legal obligations in bilateral treaties and agreements that Russia and Poland signed between 1992 and 1994, under which Polish authorities have a duty to maintain and defend these facilities.

Apart from the international legal aspect, this issue has a crucial moral dimension. The monuments of gratitude to the Red Army and the Soviet liberator soldiers are a reminder that it was owing to the Victory over Nazism, to which the Soviet Union made a decisive contribution, that Poland could survive as a state and the Polish people were not destroyed or banished and were left to live on their own land. The USSR paid an immense price for the liberation of Poland, losing over 600,000 Soviet soldiers and officers, who died in engagements with the enemy in the territory of Poland and were buried there. Hundreds of thousands of Soviet prisoners of war were kept in German concentration camps and also rest in peace in Polish soil.

The Polish authorities are certainly aware of the flagrant insult they are throwing at the Russian people and the peoples of countries that were once part of the USSR, whose sons and daughters were fighting against a common enemy and for the life and liberty of the European peoples, including the Poles. Nevertheless, Warsaw has consciously decided to go ahead with this outrageous provocation. Needless to say, it will not be left without a response.