Polish president warns against Russia's imperial ambitions

Duda wrote that further expansion to subordinate other countries had still been the goal of imperial Russia. Jan Dzban/PAP

Andrzej Duda, the Polish president, has written in articles published by Peruvian and Bulgarian dailies as well as by the Romanian press agency that the independence of East and Central European countries has always been a thorn in the side of Russian imperialists.

The articles were published in "El Comercio," "24 Hours," and the Agerpress agency on the 83rd anniversary of the Soviet invasion of the country during WWII.

Duda wrote that further expansion to subordinate other countries had still been the goal of imperial Russia.

"Russia wants to achieve the same goal as in 1939 and 1940 when it had been collaborating with Nazi Germany, and also in the years 1945-1991, when it was independently ruling our countries," Duda said.

On September 17, 1939, sixteen days after Nazi Germany started World War Two by attacking Poland, Soviet troops invaded the country following a secret agreement with the German Third Reich which called for dividing up Poland's territory between the two totalitarian states.

"Russia has always wanted to rule the entire Central and Eastern Europe. But independent Poland, free Ukraine and all independent countries of our region will never allow this to happen," the Polish president stated, adding that this "is a matter of life and death" for our nations.

"This is a matter of our future, security and prosperity," Duda wrote.

"If ...today, the Polish people and other nations of the region keep maintaining that we know Russia and that we understand its imperial motives better than the West, we have been doing this as we have the historical experience whose symbol is for us September 17," the president said.

The articles were published jointly with the Polish monthly "Wszystko Co Najwazniejsze" (All that is most important) as part of a project carried out with the Institute of National Remembrance and the Polish National Foundation.