The Polish foreign ministry issued its statement on Monday, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
The statement, signed by ministry spokesman Łukasz Jasina, read: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland condemns the statement of the former Ombudsman of the Russian Federation, Pavel Astakhov, proving that the murder of the Polish Ambassador is admissible.”
The ministry added: "We call on Russia to ensure the safety of all diplomats in accordance with the Vienna Convention.”
Poland’s statement came in response to remarks made by Astrakhov in a television programme on Sunday.
Appearing on a daily show hosted by Kremlin propagandist Vladimir Solovyov, Astakhov accused Poland of breaching the 1961 United Nations Convention on Diplomatic Relations, according to the PAP news agency.
Astakhov said, as quoted by PAP: “I must comment on the situation in Poland. What is happening represents a serious violation of the Vienna Convention on consular relations, to which all the countries of the world that maintain diplomatic relations have subscribed since 1961.”
He added that Poland had expelled Russian diplomats “from their flats, from the holiday centre” and also “froze their accounts, took all of our diplomatic mission’s money and now have seized the school,” the PAP news agency reported.
He stated, as quoted by PAP: “And what is our response? A note, an outrage, the summoning of an ambassador."
Astrakhov was also quoted as saying that when the Russian ambassador to Warsaw was splashed with paint by an activist last year, “I waited to see if the Polish ambassador’s body would be found floating in the Moskva river or not.”
He suggested that such “forms of retaliation” against diplomats were allowed under international law and that was what he “was taught at the [Soviet-era security agency] KGB school,” the Polish state news agency reported.
Astakhov is a barrister and a former Russian children’s ombudsman, according to news outlets.
Poland seizes Russian embassy school
On Saturday, city authorities in the Polish capital Warsaw, in cooperation with Poland’s foreign ministry, seized a building on Kielecka Street that had housed the Russian embassy’s high school.
Warsaw Mayor Rafał Trzaskowski said in a tweet: “We have seized another building that had been illegally occupied by the Russian Federation.”
He added that the seizure “implements a January 18, 2016 ruling by the District Court in Warsaw, under which Russia is also obliged to pay over PLN 31 million (EUR 6.7 million), plus interest, for illegally occupying the property at 45 Kielecka Street.”
Meanwhile, Stanisław Żaryn, who is the Polish government’s commissioner for the security of the information space, said that “Russian propaganda has launched an aggressive smear campaign against Poland after the authorities of Warsaw made steps resulting in the seizure of a high school building illegally occupied by Russia.”
Zaryn added: “The Kremlin has used this opportunity to falsely accuse Poland of committing an aggressive act against Russia and violating international law – all in a bid to portray Poland as being aggressive and hostile to Russia.”
Żaryn said that “Poland made the steps on the basis of a court verdict, which had ruled that an illegally occupied property be returned,” the PAP news agency reported.
In March last year, Poland moved to expel 45 Russian diplomats suspected of working for Moscow's intelligence services, according to reports at the time.
Tuesday is day 433 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: PAP, Reuters, polskieradio24.pl