Polish President Declines Invitation to Victory Day Celebrations in Moscow

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski will not attend celebrations for the 70th anniversary of Victory Day in Moscow, Polish Ambassador to Russia Katarzyna Pelczynska-Nalecz told RIA Novosti.

“No. I would’t like to comment on it, sorry,” Pelczynska-Nalecz said in response to a question if the Polish leader plans to visit Moscow on May 9. She added only that this decision cannot be described as unexpected.

Moscow sent invitations to attend the Victory Day parade to the leaders of several states, including Poland. Twenty-two of them already confirmed their participation.

Earlier in February, the Polish leader said that the country plans to organize its own Victory Day celebrations in the northern city of Gdansk. He added, however, that Poland does not want to hinder traditional celebrations in Moscow.

Gdansk is famous for the Battle of Westerplatte, the first confrontation between Polish and German forces during the 1939 invasion of Poland.

A general view of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz in OswiecimThe decision to celebrate Victory day in Gdansk has nothing to do with Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna’s earlier statements that the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was allegedly liberated by Ukrainians since the operation was carried out by the First Ukrainian Front, Pelczynska-Nalecz said. The comments caused outrage among the Russian leadership.

“Both statements happened almost at the same time, but this is because we are in this year of anniversaries. This coincidence is understandable, but they have no connections,” Pelczynska-Nalecz told RIA Novosti.

On January 27, 1945, the Soviet Red Army, consisting of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Armenian and other soldiers from the Soviet Union, liberated the Nazi Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.

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