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Russia urges Poland to meet its commitments on WWII memorials

October 15, 2015, 22:17 UTC+3 WARSAW
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WARSAW, October 15 /TASS/. Russia has urged Poland to meet its commitments to preserve wartime monuments and memorials in compliance with bilateral Russian-Polish agreements.

"In recent years, the Polish side keeps saying that memorials to Soviet servicemen who died for the liberation of that country from Hitler’s occupiers during WWII and monuments to the Soviet-Polish combat brotherhood do not fall under the provisions of the Russian-Polish inter-governmental Agreement on Burial Sites and Memorials of Victims of Wars and Repression singed on February 22, 1994, if they are located outside official burial grounds or war cemeteries, and that the question of their preservation is in the competence of local bodies of state power," the Russian embassy in Poland said in a statement issued on Thursday.

"The Russian side considers this kind of interpretation of bilateral agreements in the sphere of memorials to be unfounded," the Russian embassy said.

Under article 1 of the aforesaid agreement, its provisions apply to any burial sites and memorials (Russian in the territory of Poland and Polish in the territory of Russia) to servicemen and civilians who either died or were killed or tortured at the time of war or repression.

"It means that the agreement directly applies to any monuments to Russian servicemen who have died in armed conflicts. The document says nothing about a requirement that a memorial object should be located exclusively in the territory of a burial ground or a military cemetery," the Russian embassy explained.

"The Russian side hopes that the authorized state bodies in Poland will strictly comply with the Polish side’s commitments deriving from the bilateral treaties, which clearly fix the legal status of the Russian memorial legacy in Poland and of the Polish legacy in Russia," the Russian embassy concluded.

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