Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) Polish President Andrzej Duda criticised German and French leaders for making telephone calls to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In an interview with German Bild, he described talking to Putin as talking to Adolf Hitler during WWII, according to Reuters reporting on Thursday.
French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz both called Putin since the start of the war in Ukraine. Macron had stressed the importance of not humiliating Russia with the aim of leaving the door open to a diplomatic solution.
In the Bild interview released on YouTube on Wednesday, Duda expressed belief that attempts at diplomatic de-escalation of the conflict only legitimise Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
“Did anyone speak like this with Adolf Hitler during World War Two,” he asked and continued “did anyone say that Adolf Hitler must save face? That we should proceed in such a way that it is not humiliating for Adolf Hitler? I have not heard such voices.”
While Moscow describes the war in Ukraine as a special military operation aimed at removing threats to Russia’s security, Ukraine and the West see Russia’s aggression as an unprovoked attack aimed at expanding Russia’s borders.
The war left cities in Ukraine razed, thousands of civilians dead and forced more than 7 million Ukrainians to flee the country.
In their joint call with Putin at the end of May, Macron and Scholz called on the Russian President to release some 2,500 captured Ukrainian fighters and talk directly with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Élysée Palace pointed out.
Hungary and Italy have called on the EU to seek a ceasefire and peace talks with Moscow, which put them at odds with Poland and other EU member states who are against looking for a diplomatic solution.
In a speech last month, Zelenskyy commented on suggestions that Ukraine cedes territory to Russia with the aim of ending the war, comparing the proposal to attempts at appeasing Nazi Germany in the period before the outbreak of WWII.Speaking on Thursday, Zelenskyy stressed that the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports could cause mass starvation, warning that the world is on the brink of a food crisis.