Duda calls for Scholtz, Macron to visit Russian war crime sites


Poland's president has made frequent calls for Olaf Scholtz, the German chancellor, and President Emmanuel Macron of France to see the Ukrainian towns of Bucha and Irpin in the hope it will change their attitude, a deputy foreign minister said on Monday.

Both Macron and Scholz have been criticised for failing to take, according to some, a sufficiently robust approach to Russia over its war on Ukraine.

Speaking on public radio, Marcin Przydacz referred to planned visits to Kyiv this week by Mario Draghi, the Italian prime minister, Scholtz and Macron.

"The media are talking about it, we are also in contact with our EU partners, there are plans to carry out a visit of this type," Przydacz said. "However it is not a visit that Poland will take part in so we don't take absolute responsibility for it, although we have information about it."

The deputy minister drew attention to the fact that Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has repeatedly urged Scholtz and Macron to visit Buch and Irpin, towns where Russian forces are alleged to have committed war crimes, as "maybe it will change their position, so we'll see what effect that visit has when it actually happens."

Przydacz also recalled a visit to Kyiv by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Josep Borrel, the EU's chief diplomat. He said that at the start of the war their statements had been ambiguous, "But after the visit to Ukraine they understood what war is about."

Przydacz went on to say he would not delude himself that the three EU leaders' attitudes would change but that work was needed to ensure they did not pressure President Volodymyr Zelensky into making concessions to Russia.