A Polish deputy foreign minister said that attempts to remove a Polish flag from the Katyn Massacre memorial site in Russia were absolutely unacceptable and show how far away Russia is from civilisational standards.
According to TVP Info, Marcin Przydacz was responding to reports that Russian authorities had removed Polish flags from the Katyn military cemetery.
A series of mass executions of close to 22,000 Polish POWs, mainly military officers and policemen, carried out by the Soviet NKVD security agency in April and May 1940, commemorate the Katyn Forest Massacre in western Russia. The massacre took place in several locations, but the massacre was named after the Katyn Forest, where some of the mass graves of the victims were first discovered.
The removal of Polish flags from the Katyn memorial site was reported by independent Russian news website Meduza, quoting Smolensk Mayor Andrey Borisov.
There can be no flags of Poland at Russian memorials. Borisov said that Polish politicians had openly anti-Russian statements.
Przydacz told TVP Info that the Polish consul has immediately intervened within Russian government structures at the site. The Polish consul was very unpleasant as he referred to previous arrangements but also to civilisational standards.
After all, no one of sound mind would deny that Polish officers had been killed there and that the Polish flag should fly. He continued that flag, because it was removed in order to cause anxiety, but also in the spirit of an emotional attempt at revenge.
Przydacz went on to say that the Foreign Ministry would intervene, although it did not expect a spectacular policy change. Russia is pursuing an aggressive policy, he said. It also sees our firm position. Where it can't accost us in any other way, it will try to cause such minor crises.
The attempt to remove flags from a Polish cemetery is absolutely unacceptable but shows how far from the civilisational standards Russia has come today, Przydacz said.
Przydacz said the ministry would send a diplomatic note to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov about the matter.
Przydacz told public radio that he did not want to reveal the contents until it has been accepted by Moscow, a note will be written at the moment when it will be submitted to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.