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Moscow accuses Poland of hushing up 1992 monument protection agreement — diplomat

Moscow considers it incorrect that Polish experts refer to the intergovernmental agreement on military cemeteries and not the Russia-Poland agreement on friendly and neighborly cooperation
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Moscow considers incorrect Polish experts’ references only to the intergovernmental agreement dated February 22, 1994 in the issue of monuments to the Soviet soldiers in Poland, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

"The Polish side has once again said that in the view of Polish experts, diplomats, the agreement dated 22 February 1994 between the governments of Poland and Russia on the burial sites and memorials ostensibly applies only to military cemeteries, and all of them are protected, maintained and repaired by the Polish state", she said.

"In this connection we would like once again to appeal to the Polish authorities: in addition to our assessments of the massive acts of vandalism in Poland, which are in every way encouraged by the authorities, we would like to say that references only to the 1994 agreement are incorrect as a minimum," Zakharova said.

According to her, "The Polish side deliberately never speaks of the comprehensive agreement between Russia and Poland on friendly and neighborly cooperation of May 22, 1992. In accordance with this document, cited by Zakharova, "the parties undertake to protect any memorial places, which are the objects of respect and memory for the citizens of both countries."

Poland previously announced the intention to dismantle more than 500 Soviet monuments. 

The initiative does not apply to monuments at the graves and cemeteries of Soviet soldiers that liberated Poland from Nazi occupation. The proposal concerns the monuments erected in public places as tokens of gratitude to the Soviet Union.

More than 660,000 Soviet soldiers gave their lives for liberating Poland from Nazi occupation. During World War II about six million Poles were killed in clashes with Nazi troops and as a result of Nazi occupation. Recent years have seen repeated cases of vandalism at Soviet military cemeteries.