Russian Ambassador: Not letting Polish official into Russia was retaliation

Sławomir Dębski

Sergey Andreev, the Russian Ambassador to Poland, told his country's TASS news agency on Tuesday, that Moscow's refusal to let the head of the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM), Sławomir Dębski, enter Russia was a retaliatory measure.

The diplomat was speaking after a meeting at the Polish Foreign Ministry, where he had been summoned to explain the incident.

As Andreev said, the PISM director had been included "on a list of people who had been denied access to Russia for three years, until 2021."

The ambassador added it was in retaliation, after two Russian political scientists were denied access to Europe's passportless Schengen area last year, based on a decision made by Poland.

"In response, the Russian side made decisions," he said, "one of which was to deny entry to Mr. Dębski, for a similar period."

The PISM director was refused entry to Russia on Monday; after seven hours of waiting, he was deported from Moscow Domodedovo airport to the European Union, heading for the German city of Frankfurt am Main. Dębski told PAP no reason for the decision was given to him.

As the PISM director further explained, he had been on his way to the annual conference about Russian foreign policy, "Primakov Readings," and had a five-year entry visa for scientific and expert purposes. That visa was revoked on Monday.