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Polish foreign minister has sovereign view on WWII

March 16, 2015, 15:54 UTC+3 WARSAW
Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna supported German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her decision not to go to Moscow on May 9 to join celebrations devoted to the 70th anniversary of the Victory
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Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna

Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna

© EPA/TOBIAS HASE

WARSAW, March 16. /TASS/. Polish Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna believes that the 8th and the 9th of May, 1945 in history of the world civilization are two different dates, and celebrations should be on the first one, which "is important for development of the European solidarity."

In an interview with Rzeczpospolita daily on Monday, the minister supported German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her decision not to go to Moscow on May 9 to join celebrations devoted to the 70th anniversary of the Victory.

"This is symbolic, important and necessary for development of the European solidarity. We should demonstrate our own, sovereign view on these issues," he said, adding it was not a "competition" with the events in Moscow: "May 8 is something very different from the 9th of May. We all know this. Events on May 8 show that a united Europe, which has brought us to the European Union, has grownon the post-war ruins."

Poland is preparing its own celebration and events devoted to end of World War II - at Westerplatte in Gdansk - from where the war had begun. The foreign minister said the presidential office "is working on this meeting." The event will feature many leaders, he added. "Preparations continue, and in due time the presidential office will inform on their decisions."

Head of the Kremlin administration Sergey Ivanov criticised Poland's decision.

"It is not clear how it is possible to organize a celebration of the Victory over fascist Germany in Gdansk - the place where World War II began," he told a news conference in Auschwitz during celebration of the 70th anniversary of liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.

Germany’s government spokesman Steffen Seibert announced on March 11 Chancellor Angela Merkel would not be present at the Victory Parade in Moscow devoted to defeat of the German fascist military. He also said the chancellor "took the decision recently and in a telephone conversation with the Russian president suggested a joint laying of wreaths to the Unknown Soldier Grave [in Moscow] on May 10."

Russia will celebrate the 70th anniversary of Victory on May 9, 2015. Leaders of many countries have been invited to the celebration.

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