Poland restricts Russian diplomats to assigned provinces

Poland has immobilized post-province travel by Russian consuls and ambassadors

Warsaw announced Russian diplomats stationed in Poland are restricted to the provinces of their post, accusing Russia of waging a “hybrid war.”

In addition to the embassy in Warsaw, Russia has consulates in Krakow, Gdansk and Poznan.

“I have recently announced the Polish decision regarding Russia’s participation in the hybrid war against the EU and Poland,” declared Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski on Monday after the EU ministerial meeting in Brussels.

“We have evidence of the Russian state engaging in sabotage, additionally within our nation. It is our hope the Russian Federation interprets this as a grave warning,” Sikorski included. No response to the action has yet been reported from Russia.

“This is a campaign being implemented across the EU,” Sikorski proclaimed Monday. Poland has accused Russia of plotting attacks on commercial sites in Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Sweden, though the accusations have not been substantiated.

Last Monday, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk disclosed to TVN24 that nine individuals, including Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Polish nationals – have been placed under arrest due to suspicion of plotting sabotage for Russia. Tusk has reported the suspects have been charged with “beatings, arson, and attempted arson” of a Wroclaw paint factory and an Ikea in Lithuania.

Last month, authorities within the UK conducted the initial arrests and indictments as authorized by the newly enacted National Security Act. The indictments allege four men conspired to set fire to two London warehouses used by a package delivery company based in the Ukraine as a tactic for “messaging” against Ukrainian assistance.

The current Polish government, which took power in December, has maintained the policy established by its predecessor: support for the Ukraine in the ongoing conflict with Russia.

Warsaw has previously frozen bank accounts and other assets owned by the Russian embassy – an action Russia has decried as a clear violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations – as well as taking possession of various properties connected to the diplomatic mission. Though Moscow has threatened “asymmetrical retaliation,” their warnings have so far been disregarded.