Putin calls Poland's western territories as 'Stalin's gift to Poles'

Putin calls Poland's western territories as 'Stalin's gift to Poles'

Russian president accuses Poland of plotting to take control of Ukraine's western part through formation of joint Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian military group

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW (AA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Poland's western territories are "Stalin's gift to Poles."

Commenting on Poland's alleged plans to take control of Ukraine's western territories, Putin said at a Russian Security Council meeting in Moscow that Russia may remind Warsaw of how its previous "expansionist plans" failed.

"The fire of war is being strenuously kindled. In particular, they (the West) use the ambitions of the leaders of some Eastern European states, who have long turned hatred of Russia, and Russophobia into their main export commodity and an instrument of their domestic policy. And now they want to 'warm their hands' on the Ukrainian tragedy," he said.

Putin said plans to form a joint Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian military group imply the establishment of a regular unit with the stated goal of "providing security of Ukraine's western territories," but in reality, "for the occupation of these territories."

"After all, the prospect is obvious – if Polish units enter, for example, Lviv or other territories of Ukraine, then they will remain there. And they will remain forever," according to the Russian president.

Putin recalled that Poland used Russia's civil war in 1917 to annex historical regions, and that part of Lithuania, the Vilen Krai, took part in the partition of Czechoslovakia as a result of the Munich agreement with Hitler in 1938.

The Russian president reminded that "such an aggressive policy" ended for Poland with the national tragedy of 1939, when "it was thrown by the Western allies to be eaten by the German military machine," losing its independence and statehood, "which was restored to a great extent thanks to the Soviet Union."

"And it was thanks to the Soviet Union, thanks to Stalin's position, that Poland received significant lands in the West, the lands of Germany. This is exactly the case… the western territories of present–day Poland are Stalin's gift to the Poles. Have our friends in Warsaw forgotten about it? We will remind them," he said.

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