Polish envoy repeats FM's regrets on Russian ambassador incident

Maxim Shipenkov/PAP/EPA

Poland’s ambassador to Moscow has reiterated the official regrets expressed by the Polish foreign minister over an incident in Warsaw on Monday when the Russian ambassador had red paint thrown over him.

Krzysztof Krajewski, the Polish ambassador, was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, to explain the incident, which angered the Russian government.

On May 9, Sergey Andreyev, the Russian ambassador to Poland, was surrounded by demonstrators as he tried to lay a wreath at a Soviet war memorial to mark the anniversary of the Soviet Army's defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II.

Protesters called him a "fascist" before two women got close enough to throw red paint at him. Andreyev was forced to abandon the ceremony and had to return to his car under a police escort.

Following the meeting at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Krajewski told PAP that he had reiterated the position of Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau who said on Monday that the paint attack on the ambassador was "regrettable."

"I was summoned to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where an oral protest was expressed in connection with the incident at the Mausoleum of Soviet Soldiers on May 9. In response, I literally repeated the full position of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, expressed by Minister of Foreign Affairs Zbigniew Rau, in reaction to the incident," said the head of the Polish mission in Moscow.

Rau also said on Monday that the incident "should not have taken place" as "diplomats enjoy particular protection irrespectively of the policies pursued by their governments."