PM says Poland will respond in kind if Russia closes its diplomatic missions

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Poland will respond in kind if Russia closes down its diplomatic missions, the Polish prime minister said on Friday, after Moscow said it had decided to close Warsaw’s consulate in Smolensk.

The war in Ukraine has brought relations between Warsaw and Moscow to new lows. Poland accuses Russia of trying to destabilize the country with disinformation campaigns and espionage, while Moscow has hit out at what it sees as Warsaw’s hostile rhetoric.

“We regularly receive information about aggressive diplomatic actions from Russia,” Mateusz Morawiecki told a press conference. “If in the end it comes to it that Russia starts to liquidate our offices we will respond in kind.”

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Interfax news agency said Russia took the decision to close the consulate due to what it called Poland’s “anti-Russian actions.”

The consulate in Smolensk holds a special significance for Poland as it is charged with looking after two sites of national remembrance - the cemetery complex in Katyn and the site of the 2010 Smolensk air disaster.

Polish officers were murdered by Soviet forces in the Katyn forest in western Russia in 1940.

In 2010, President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other people including top politicians and military officers were killed when their plane crashed in thick fog in Smolensk as they traveled to mark the anniversary of the Katyn killings.

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