Poland supports allies' response to aggressive politics of Russia

A Polish deputy foreign minister has said that the recent expulsion of Russian diplomats by Poland, the US and the Czech Republic is a response to “Russia's aggressive politics.”

"In general, many things in the world of international affairs are interconnected," Marcin Przydacz told a public television programme on Monday. "That is why Poland has expressed its support for steps taken by its allies designed to send some political signals to Russia."

Last week, Poland expelled three Russian diplomats owing to "behaviour detrimental to the interests of the Republic of Poland."

The Czech Republic announced on Saturday that it was expelling 18 Russian diplomats. Interior Minister Jan Hamacek, who is also serving as the country's foreign minister, said the 18 Russian embassy officials were clearly identified as spies working for the Russian intelligence services, and that they had 48 hours to leave the country.

"First, we were dealing with a decision of the American side," Przydacz said in reference to a decision by the US to impose new sanctions on Russia in response to what it said were cyber-attacks and other hostile acts.

The White House said Russian intelligence was behind last year's massive "SolarWinds" hack, and accused Moscow of interference in the 2020 presidential election.

"And now, there comes this news from the Czech Republic," Przydacz continued. "This is a response to Russia's aggressive politics and this is also a meaningful political signal."

Przydacz also stated that the Law and Justice government "has for a long time been speaking about the growing role of Russia's intelligence services and their increased activity in Poland."

"We are aware of the fact that Russian services are active in Western Europe, in our neighbouring countries and in the Baltic States. But not much is being said about their presence in Poland."

Russia on Sunday ordered 20 Czech diplomats to leave the country within a day in response to the Czech government's expulsion of the 18 Russian diplomats. The Russian Foreign Ministry described the expulsion of the Russians as a "hostile step," in which "a US 'trace' was visible."