‘Did we speak to Hitler!?’ Poland furious at Macron and Scholz appeasing Putin

Klitschko slams President Macron over Ukraine comments

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Polish President Andrzej Duda slammed the leaders of France and Germany over their phone calls with the Russian President, saying it was like having talks with Adolf Hitler during World War Two.

The German Chancellor and the French President have both held one-on-one phone calls with Putin since Russia launched a devastating invasion of Ukraine, with Mr Macron in particular stirring Ukrainian ire by saying Russia must not be “humiliated” so as to preserve chances of a diplomatic solution.

Mr Duda, in an interview with German daily Bild first released on its YouTube channel late on Wednesday, said such discussions only legitimised an illegal war in Ukraine.

He said: “I am amazed at all the talks that are being held with Putin at the moment.

“By Chancellor Scholz, by President Emmanuel Macron. These talks achieve nothing.

“What do they achieve? They only legitimise a person who is responsible for the crimes that the Russian army is committing in Ukraine. He is responsible for it. He made the decision to send the troops there.

“The commanders are under him. Vladimir Putin.

“Did anyone talk like that to Adolf Hitler during World War Two? 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 things.”

Asked about his view of Germany’s strategy towards the war, he replied: “Apologies, maybe some people in Germany will feel offended by this: This part of the German economy doesn’t care at all what happens with Ukraine, what happens with Poland.

“They say: we want to do business, earn money.

“It is possible to do business with Russia, we want to sell our products.

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“We want to buy cheap gas and import oil. Maybe the German economy doesn’t believe that the Russian army could celebrate another big victory in Berlin and occupy part of Germany.

“We in Poland know that this is possible. And that is why there is no business as usual for us.

“And that is why we call on the world and Europe that there is no more business as usual with Russia.”

The conflict in Ukraine, described by Moscow as a “special military operation” to stamp out perceived threats to its security, has flattened cities, killed thousands of civilians and forced over 7 million people to flee the country.

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Ukraine and its Western allies say Russia is waging an unprovoked war to grab territory.

In a joint call with Putin on May 28, Chancellor Scholz and President Macron urged him to release the 2,500 Ukrainian fighters captured at Mariupol’s Azovstal steel plant and to speak directly with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, according to the Elysee Palace.

Italy and Hungary have urged the European Union to call explicitly for a ceasefire in Ukraine and peace talks with Russia, putting themselves at odds with other member states like Poland determined to take a hard line with Moscow Last month, Mr Zelensky savaged suggestions by some in the West that Kyiv gives up territory and make concessions to end the war, saying the idea smacked of attempts to appease Nazi Germany in 1938 in the run-up to World War Two.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg

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