WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s president is threatening to boycott a ceremony in Israel marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi German death camp of Auschwitz if he is not allowed to speak before or after Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Deputy Foreign Minister Pawel Jablonski said Tuesday it was “inadmissible” that Andrzej Duda would not be allowed to speak during the Jan. 22-23 World Holocaust Forum ceremonies at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. Putin, invited by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, is to be the key speaker.
Poland is especially concerned by Putin's recent remarks ascribing some blame for World War II to Warsaw, which Poland's leaders have protested as untrue. Poland was the war's first victim, attacked in September 1939 by Nazi Germany and Soviet troops.
A special council that Duda has called for Tuesday is to discuss his attendance at the event as well as the situation in the Middle East following the killing of Iran's top general by the U.S.
The ceremony in Israel is also to be attended by French President Emmanuel Macron and the presidents of Germany, Italy and Austria.
Poland is hosting observances marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by the Soviet Red Army on the precise anniversary, Jan. 27, at the site of the death camp that Nazi Germany operated on occupied Polish soil.