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Poland's PM suggests Russia is 'hostile regime' after Navalny case

FILE PHOTO: Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki arrives for the first face-to-face EU summit since the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Brussels, Belgium July 19, 2020. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki suggested on Thursday that Russia was a “hostile regime” after Germany said that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned with a Soviet-style Novichok nerve agent.

“Georgia 2008. Crimea & Donbas since 2014. MH17. Salisbury 2018. Berlin 2019. Navalny 2020. How many wake-up calls do we need to finally realize that we are dealing with a hostile regime?” Morawiecki said on Twitter.

“Dialogue, partnership, compromise - these are alien words to them. Time to draw conclusions.”

Morawiecki’s tweet did not specifically name Russia, but referred to events in which Moscow is accused of involvement, like the separatist conflict in eastern Ukraine or the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

Germany has said Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a chemical that was specifically banned this year by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Moscow has denied involvement in the incident and the Russian foreign ministry said Germany’s assertion was not backed by evidence, complaining about the way Germany had chosen to release information about Navalny.

Warsaw’s relations with Moscow, which supplies Poland with oil and gas, have been strained by Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and differences over a 2010 plane crash in Russia that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other people.

In August, Morawiecki said Russia should not intervene militarily in Belarus under the pretence of restoring order there.

Another Polish official said this month that if the West did not react to the Belarus crisis, then Russia would expand the “Brezhnev Doctrine”, a Soviet-era foreign policy under which Moscow intervened in the domestic affairs of its East European satellites at times of unrest against repressive Communist rule.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Alan Charlish; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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