Archive for Poland
Elena Poptodorova, who on Tuesday was detained at the airport in Warsaw with unpaid cosmetics from a duty-free shop, denied having stolen the goods. The Bulgarian News Agency quotes Poptodorova as saying she had received a call from her sick mother and went out of the shop to accept it there with the cosmetics in her hands. Reportedly, Poptodorova, who has not served at the Foreign Ministry over the past year, showed her diplomatic passport to authorities. She has been Sofia’s Ambassador to Washington for a total of 12 years, two times between 2002 and 2008 and 2010-2016. After leaving her second posting there, she was appointed head of the Warsaw office of Global Jewish Advocacy, a non-profit.
Poland temporarily closed its embassy in Baghdad over security concerns in Iraq, which has been plagued by Islamic State militants. “Following the worsening of the security situation in Iraq, Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has decided to temporarily suspend the activities of the Polish embassy in Baghdad as of September 9,” the ministry said in a statement. It added that its consular agency in Iraq’s Arbil – the seat of the Kurdish regional government – would remain open.
The Polish Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian ambassador to protest remarks by Russian nationalist politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Speaking on state Rossiya 24 television last week, Zhirinovsky said that Poland and the Baltic states would be “wiped out” should a war break out between Russia and the West. Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski said the remarks were “scandalous.” He said Zhirinovsky, a lawmaker and the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, “is neither a backbencher nor a private person.” Zhirinovsky is known for his outrageous comments. Latvia’s Foreign Ministry also summoned Russian Ambassador to Latvia Alexander Veshnyakov after a politician in Russia said the Baltics and Poland would be ‘annihilated.’ But Ambassador Veshnyakov said Zhirinovsky’s views did not mirror Russia’s official stance on the issue.
Poland’s honourary consul in Monaco has “recognised involvement” in the murder of his mother-in-law, one of the principality’s richest women, who was shot dead as she left hospital in nearby Nice last month. Wojciech Janowski, 64, is married to the daughter of Monaco real estate heiress Helene Pastor, 77, who died last month from multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen, neck and face after being shot leaving a hospital in the French Riviera city of Nice. Janowski was arrested on Monday, when he was taken into custody by French police along with 22 others. Janowski’s 53-year-old wife Sylvia, Pastor’s eldest daughter, was also detained for questioning but released on Thursday without charge. The couple stood to inherit Pastor’s estimated €20 billion fortune. Prosecutors had until the end of the day Friday to charge those detained or release them.
A Polish news magazine said on Sunday it had obtained a secret recording of Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, in contention for a senior European Union job, saying that Poland’s relationship with the United States was worthless. The Wprost news magazine said the recording was of a private conversation earlier this year between Sikorski and Jacek Rostowski, a member of parliament with the ruling Civic Platform who until last year was finance minister. The magazine did not say who recorded the conversation or how it obtained the recording. Aides to Sikorski and Rostowski said they had no immediate comment. A government spokeswoman said it was hard to form a view based on a few excerpts of a conversation, but there might be a comment later. There also was no immediate comment from the US State Department. According to a transcript of excerpts of the conversation that was published by Wprost on its Internet site, Sikorski told Rostowski: “You know that the Polish-US alliance isn’t worth anything.” “It is downright harmful because it creates a false sense of security … Complete bullshit. We’ll get in conflict with the Germans, Russians and we’ll think that everything is super because we gave the Americans a blow job. Losers. Complete losers.” According to the transcript, Sikorski described Warsaw’s attitude towards the United States using the Polish word “murzynskosc.” That derives from the word “murzyn,” which denotes a dark-skinned person and someone who does the work for somebody else, according to the PWN Polish language dictionary.
Poland’s Foreign Ministry has reportedly summon the Ukrainian ambassador in Warsaw, Markiyan Malsky, over the protest rallies in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. Spokesman Marcin Wojciechowski tweeted today that Poland intended to call Kiev to a dialog with demonstrators and said it “condemns violence.” The Polish foreign ministry is due to make an official statement on the situation in Ukraine, he added.
Poland has offered an apology to Russia for an attack on its Warsaw embassy by nationalists on Monday. Both the Polish president and prime minister condemned the incident publicly as “an unacceptable act of aggression.” A number of nationalist demonstrators hijacked a march of thousands of people on Polish Independence Day and attacked the Russian embassy in Warsaw. Protesters shouting anti-Russia slogans hurled stones at police and attempted to scale the walls of the embassy building. Police eventually dispersed the mob with rubber bullets and pepper spray and arrested around a dozen people. President Bronislaw Komorowski apologized to Russia for the “acts of hooliganism” witnessed in the Polish capital and said the incident had been detrimental to the image of Poland on the international stage. “I need to apologize on behalf of the Polish state,” Komorowski told Polish radio station RaioZet, branding the unrest as an “absolute scandal.”