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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

11 years since landmark speech by Polish leader in Georgia

12.08.2019 13:00
Monday marks exactly 11 years since the late Polish President Lech Kaczyński warned the international community over Russia in a landmark speech in Georgia, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.
The late Polish President Lech Kaczyński, pictured in 2007. Photo: Archiwum Kancelarii Prezydenta RP (www.prezydent.pl) [GFDL 1.2 (https:gnu.orglicensesold-licensesfdl-1.2.html) or GFDL 1.2 (http:www.gnu.orglicensesold-licensesfdl-1.2.html)]
The late Polish President Lech Kaczyński, pictured in 2007. Photo: Archiwum Kancelarii Prezydenta RP (www.prezydent.pl) [GFDL 1.2 (https://gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html) or GFDL 1.2 (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/fdl-1.2.html)]via Wikimedia Commons

Poland's Lech Kaczyński in August 2008 traveled to Tbilisi together with the presidents of Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to show solidarity with Georgia in the face of Russia's invasion of that country, according to accounts by officials.

He said at the time: "Today Georgia, tomorrow Ukraine, the day after tomorrow the Baltic states, and then, perhaps, the time will come for my country, Poland."

He also appealed to the European Union, NATO and the United States to oppose Russia's invasion of Georgia, the IAR news agency reported.

It cited Poland’s current ambassador to Tbilisi, Mariusz Maszkiewicz, as saying that Lech Kaczyński’s 2008 visit to Georgia and his address to a crowd of more than 200,000 gathered in the country’s capital was an important factor in stopping the Russian aggression of that country.

"Serious analysts point to the key importance of that visit because without it the Russians would have gone further," Maszkiewicz told IAR.


Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Ukraine last year called on Russia to "reverse its illegal recognition of the so-called independence" of the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The foreign ministers of Poland, Lithuania and Latvia and the deputy prime minister of Ukraine visited Georgia in August last year on a trip marking 10 years since Russia’s invasion of that country, the IAR news agency reported at the time.

The joint trip to Tbilisi followed in the footsteps of the late Polish leader Lech Kaczyński, who in August 2008 organised a visit in support of Georgia.

Poland’s foreign ministry in a statement last August called on Moscow to “abandon its aggressive and provocative policy” toward Georgia.

Former NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that Poland's Lech Kaczyński was right when he in 2008 warned the international community over Russia's intentions regarding Georgia as well as Ukraine.

Lech Kaczyński died on April 10, 2010, when a Polish plane carrying him, his wife, and 94 others, mainly political and military top brass, crashed while trying to land at the Smolensk airfield in western Russia. All aboard were killed.


A monument in honour of Lech Kaczyński in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Photo: Kancelaria Sejmu / Łukasz Błasikiewicz [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons A monument in honour of Lech Kaczyński in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Photo: Kancelaria Sejmu / Łukasz Błasikiewicz [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

(gs/pk)

Source: IAR