Russia said a decision on “further steps to take” against Poland depended on Warsaw’s response to the demands.
Russia has demanded a formal apology from Poland and threatened possible future retaliation after Moscow’s ambassador to Warsaw was sprayed with red paint by protesters.
Russian Ambassador Sergey Andreev was jostled, heckled and splattered with red paint by protesters against Russia’s war in Ukraine when he tried to lay flowers at the Soviet military cemetery in Warsaw on Monday.
Video clips posted on social media showed the ambassador being surrounded and splattered with face paint at the event marking Victory Day – the Russian holiday marking the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945.
The Polish police then helped the ambassador to leave the scene safely.
“Russia expects a formal apology from the Polish leadership regarding the incident and demands that the safety of the Russian ambassador and all employees of Russian foreign institutions in Poland be ensured,” the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday. Foreign Affairs.
“A decision on further measures will be taken depending on Warsaw’s reaction to our demands.”
Poland’s ambassador to Moscow, Krzysztof Krajewski, was summoned to the ministry to receive the apology request.
Krajewski said he responded to the ministry by repeating the words of the Polish foreign minister who called the incident “very deplorable” and something that should never have happened given the diplomats’ protected status.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said authorities had warned the Russian ambassador that visiting the cemetery risked causing an incident, according to the official PAP news agency.
“However, what happened does not change our position that diplomatic representatives of foreign countries are entitled to protection … no matter how much we feel the need to disagree with government policy that the diplomat represents,” Rau said. saying.
In retaliation, red paint was splattered at the entrance to the Polish Embassy in Moscow on Wednesday, a Polish Foreign Ministry spokesman said. The ministry said a plaque with the Polish national emblem at the entrance to the embassy had been sprayed with paint.
Traditionally reserved, bilateral relations between Moscow and Warsaw have been strained since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which borders Poland. The Polish government has called for severe international sanctions, including a ban on Russian energy sources.
More than three million Ukrainians fled to Poland, and Warsaw expelled 45 Russian diplomats, prompting a tit for tat reaction from Moscow.