WARSAW, August 29. /TASS/. Former Polish President Lech Walesa, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, has castigated Warsaw’s decision not to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend events dedicated to the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII on September 1, 2019.
"We will only make our relations worse, bad as they are, by not inviting Russia," he stressed in an interview with the Rzeczpospolita newspaper published on Thursday.
Walesa also pointed to the need to keep up the dialogue under the current circumstances.
This year, the main events to mark the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of WWII will be held in Warsaw. Poland sent invitations to the NATO, EU and Eastern Partnership member-countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine). As many as 250 guests from 40 countries, including US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, are expected to arrive.
The Polish administration decided not to invite Russia to the events, claiming that the Soviet Union was not involved in WWII on September 1, 1939. Warsaw also stated that it wanted to mark the anniversary with the countries it now closely cooperates with.
For his part, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that "any memorial events in any countries dedicated to the anniversaries of the Great Patriotic War or World War II cannot be considered full-fledged without Russia's participation," because Russia’s role in the Victory over Nazism cannot be overestimated.
A total of 600,000 Soviet soldiers lost their lives while liberating Poland from the Nazis who invaded the country in 1939.