Russia guilty of genocide in Ukraine, president tells CNN

Łukasz Gągulski/PAP

Poland's president has said in an interview with US broadcaster CNN that alleged Russian war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha fulfil the definition of genocide.

Andrzej Duda also said that the goal of the Russian invasion is simply to extinguish the Ukrainian nation and added that Russia's narrative of the 'denazification' of Ukraine was a pretext to commit massacres.

Duda went on to assert that Russia had already invaded Ukraine in 2014, when it annexed Crimea, and that Russia's 2008 attack on Georgia showed that dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin "makes no sense."

"Vladimir Putin needs to be given tough conditions and told that if he does not meet them there is nothing to discuss.... Conducting a dialogue that leads to nothing is just playing for time," Duda said, adding that attempts to engage Putin in dialogue enabled Russia to show a "civilised face" while at the same time it "murders people in absolutely the most savage way."

He said Russian forces had probably murdered thousands of civilians and that as a result the Russian president could not be treated as a normal leader but as a war criminal that should be punished.

The Polish president also commented on the tightening of sanctions against Russia and the adoption of measures aimed at eliminating the sale of hydrocarbons, especially crude oil. He criticised Germany for investing in projects such as the Nord Stream I and II gas pipelines and becoming dependent on Russian gas despite warnings from Poland.

"Russia is blackmailing not only Germany, Russia is blackmailing the whole of Europe," he said.

On the subject of a possible Russian attack on Poland, the president said: "I think in these circumstances no one has any doubt that Poland is potentially threatened by Russian aggression in the future... And that is why we must spend on our potential defence."

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