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Poland summons Russian ambassador over assassination comment

WARSAW, POLAND (AP) – The Polish Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador in protest on Friday after a former Russian official suggested that it would be acceptable to assassinate Poland’s ambassador to Russia.

Russia’s children’s ombudsman from 2009 to 2016 Pavel Astakhov, spoke on a television programme hosted by Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyov.

He was being interviewed after Polish authorities took over a school building in Warsaw that was serving the children of Russian diplomats and the military.

Astakhov argued that murdering an ambassador in retaliation “for unfriendly actions… is within the framework of international law”, adding: “I was taught this well at the KGB school at the counterintelligence faculty.” That school takeover was the latest of several incidents which have added to tensions between Russia and Poland, an ally of Kyiv which has been supplying Ukraine’s military with weapons.

In the interview with Solovyov, Astakhov referred to Poland’s seizure of other properties, its freezing of Russian bank accounts, and an incident last year in which an activist in Warsaw doused the Russian ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev, with a red liquid. Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau at the time strongly condemned that incident, calling it “highly deplorable”.

Astakhov said when Andreev was doused with the liquid, he waited to see “will they find Poland’s ambassador floating in the Moskva River?”

Poland’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it had summoned Andreev and handed him a protest note about Astakhov’s statement “calling for the murder of the Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Moscow”.

“The Polish side protested firmly against this situation and urged that criminal proceedings be instituted immediately and the perpetrator be punished without delay,” spokesman Lukasz Jasina said.

Poland’s Ambassador to Russia is Krzysztof Krajewski, who has had extra security protection since May 2022, Jasina said.

Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev during a news conference in Warsaw, Poland. PHOTO: AP
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