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Moscow Demands Apology From Poland Over Embassy Violence

  • RFE/RL

Far-right protesters march with faces covered during their annual march, which coincides with Poland's national Independence Day in Warsaw.

Far-right protesters march with faces covered during their annual march, which coincides with Poland's national Independence Day in Warsaw.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has demanded an official apology from Poland after Polish ultranationalists attacked the Russian Embassy during an Independence Day march in Warsaw.

Protesters on November 11 threw flares at the embassy and set a guard's booth on fire. Some tried to climb the embassy fence.
Poland's Independence Day in Warsaw

Poland's Independence Day in Warsaw


In a statement, the Foreign Ministry also demanded that Warsaw "compensate for the damage caused, punish those guilty, and prevent similar provocations in the future."

The statement was issued after Polish Ambassador Wojciech Zajaczkowski was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.

Zajaczkowski left the ministry after 20 minutes, refusing to make any comment.

Valeria Perzhinskaya, a spokeswoman for the Russian Embassy in Warsaw, told Russian television on Tuesday that no embassy staff were injured in the incident, but that property was damaged.

"[The embassy's] fence, gate, intercom device, and three vehicles have been damaged. No members of staff were hurt," she said. "Right now, the situation is calm. A new police booth has been installed, replacing the one that had been burned down during the demonstration yesterday."
Riot police formed a cordon in front of the Russian embassy during the march.

Riot police formed a cordon in front of the Russian embassy during the march.


Yury Materiy, the Russian Foreign Ministry's deputy spokesman, said the incident amounted to a "severe violation" of international diplomatic rules.

Polish police used rubber bullets against masked youths who had attended an ultranationalist march that attracted an estimated 50,000 supporters.

The march was organized by far-right groups on Poland's independence day.

Polish Police said 72 people linked to the rioting and the attempts to break into the premises of the Russian Embassy had been arrested. Authorities said 12 police officers had been taken to hospital with injuries sustained during the clashes.

The Polish Foreign Ministry condemned the violence in a statement in Russian on its website. The statement expressed "deep regret over the aggressive behavior and incidents" outside the embassy.

With reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax
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