Communist MP wants Poland ties severed over threat to Red Army monuments
“Before the end of the day we must pass an address concerning the bill approved by the Polish Sejm [lower house of parliament],” Kharitonov said at a State Duma session on Wednesday.
“Our address must include such measures as severing diplomatic ties today before nighttime, recalling our ambassador and sending away the Polish one and also closing all types of trade with Poland,” Kharitonov said.
The lawmaker emphasized that about 600,000 Soviet soldiers had died while liberating Poland from the Nazis.
State Duma speaker Vyacheslav Volodin assessed Kharitonov’s proposal as “correct” and called for MPs to treat the question seriously. Volodin also said that the State Duma Committee for International Affairs, together with all parliamentary parties, was preparing the address concerning the Polish bill and noted that Russian MPs were in talks with other nations’ parliaments that could result in more international backing for the future Russian address.
According to the Duma speaker, the text of the address could be discussed in the parliament as soon as on July 12.
Kharitonov’s calls follow a Polish law adopted in June. The legislation bans communist propaganda or that of other totalitarian regimes, including any mention of the names on buildings or other architectural sites.
There are fears this could result in the destruction of memorials to Red Army soldiers who died liberating Poland from the Nazis.
The law and the general policy of Polish authorities concerning Red Army monuments in Poland have been repeatedly criticized by Russian officials and politicians.
In late June, State Duma Deputy Speaker Irina Yarovaya (United Russia) called the Polish law “a crime against their own nation,” and “a treacherous move aimed against those who liberated Europe.”
Another United Russia MP - Dmitry Sablin - told reporters that the Polish authorities had failed to learn anything from history.
“People like them flirted with Hitler before the war and ripped pieces from occupied Czechoslovakia. Now they try to forget the debt they owe those who liberated their country from Nazism,” he said.
Also, soon after Poland passed the bill the Russian Foreign Ministry reacted with an official statement saying that the recent actions of the Polish government could further strain relations between the two nations.
“No one tries to conceal the fact that the main blow will be delivered on monuments and other memorial sites installed in honor of the feat of the Red Army that freed Poland from the Nazi yoke and saved the Polish people from complete destruction,” the document read.
Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreyev has previously warned that the campaign against the monuments could inflict tremendous damage to relations between the two countries, and also reminded reporters that destroying Red Army monuments violates the 1994 intergovernmental agreement and the 1992 treaty between the Polish Republic and Russian Federation.