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War in Ukraine: talking with Putin is like talking with Hitler, according to the Polish president


Polish President Andrzej Duda criticized in the pages of the German daily Bild French and German leaders for their telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin after his invasion of Ukraine, saying it was like having talks with Adolf Hitler during the Second World War.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron have both had regular telephone talks with their Russian counterpart since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. The French president has also drawn the wrath of the Ukrainian government by warning against humiliation of Russia in order to preserve diplomatic channels.

“Did anyone talk like that with Adolf Hitler during World War II?”

In an interview with Bild, Andrzej Duda said such talks only legitimize an illegal war in Ukraine. “Did anyone talk like that with Adolf Hitler in World War II? Did anyone say that Adolf Hitler had to save face? That we should proceed in such a way that it’s not not humiliating for Adolf Hitler? I have not heard such voices,” he said.

Moscow describes the invasion as a “special military operation” aimed at demilitarizing and “denazifying” Ukraine, while Kyiv and its Western allies say Russia is waging an unprovoked war to seize the territory.

France and Germany urged Vladimir Putin at the end of May to release some 2,500 fighters from the Azovstal metallurgical plant in Mariupol, taken prisoner of war by Russian forces, and to speak directly with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky.

Italy and Hungary have asked the EU to explicitly call for a ceasefire in Ukraine and for peace talks, in opposition to other member states, such as Poland or the Baltic countries, determined to adopt a hard line against Moscow.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in May that suggestions by some Western countries for Kyiv to make concessions to end the war were reminiscent of Nazi Germany’s appeasement attempts in 1938 as it approached of World War II.