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MFA slams Astakhov’s statement advocating murder of Polish ambassador

Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned a statement by former Russian ombudsman for children’s rights that murdering ambassadors is “within the framework of international law.”

On Sunday, Pavel Astakhov, in the daily television programme hosted by Russian propagandist Vladimir Solovyov, accused the Polish authorities of violating the Vienna Convention and made a reference to Poland’s ambassador to Russia.

“I have to refer to the situation in Poland. What is happening is a serious violation of the Geneva Convention on Consular Relations, which since 1961 all countries of the world that maintain diplomatic relations have committed to,” Astakhov said.

He further said that he had waited to hear “whether the Polish ambassador to Russia would be found floating in the Moscow River or not” after an incident when Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergei Andreyev, while visiting the Soviet Military Cemetery in Warsaw last year, was doused in red paint by activists protesting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

Astakhov also suggested that such “retaliation and reprisals” against diplomats were permissible under international law, and that this was “taught to him in the (former Russian spy – PAP) KGB school.” 

In response to Astakhov’s comments, Polish Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Lukasz Jasina, posted a statement on the ministry’s website on Monday. 

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland condemns Pavel Astakhov’s statement proving that the murder of the Polish Ambassador is admissible,” the statement read.

“We call on Russia to ensure the safety of all diplomats in accordance with the Vienna Convention,” it added.

On Saturday, Warsaw City Hall, in agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, took over the building in the city’s Mokotow district, where a secondary school run by the Russian Embassy was located. According to a court ruling the building was illegally occupied by the Russians.

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