Polish Lower House recognises Russia as state sponsoring terrorism

Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

The lower house of the Polish parliament (Sejm) adopted a resolution on Wednesday recognising Russia as a state sponsoring terrorism. The resolution included an amendment tabled by the Law and Justice party concerning the Smoleńsk disaster. The opposition did not participate in the vote.

At the previous session, the Sejm was due to vote on a resolution recognising Russia as a state sponsoring terrorism. During the evening debate, all representatives unanimously supported the resolution, as it was agreed on in advance. However, during the debate, a Law and Justice amendment was put forward. As a result, opposition MPs did not take part in the vote, breaking the quorum.

Voting on the draft resolution resumed on Wednesday. First, the amendment on the Smoleńsk disaster was passed by a slim majority of 230 votes.

In a subsequent vote, the Sejm adopted the resolution with the amendment with 231 votes in favour.

A state sponsoring terrorism

The resolution stressed that “the Russian Federation systematically violates human rights, international law, the UN Charter and a number of other treaties” by committing aggression against the territories of other states, “armed assaults, war crimes and genocides” and undertakes “hostile economic actions, especially in the energy sphere”.

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It also pointed out that changing borders by force is a crime against peace. “The forms of terror used by Russia against the citizens of Ukraine are a crime against humanity and genocide,” the resolution states.

As highlighted, Russian armed structures and formations are committing acts of terror in invaded Ukraine, carrying out “mass executions, abductions, sexual violence, torture, tearing children away from their families in order to subject them to Russification, forced conscription of Ukrainian citizens into the Russian armed forces and looting of property”. The resolution also points out that Russia has repeatedly violated the Geneva Convention on the Treatment of Prisoners of War.

The amendment

The amendment states that “the Russian Federation is directly responsible for shooting down a Malaysian Airlines plane (flight MH17) in July 2014, when 298 passengers and crew members were killed, and for the crash of a Polish Air Force plane (flight 101), in Smoleńsk (Russia) in April 2010, which killed 96 people on board, including Polish President Lech Kaczyński, Polish government officials, senior Polish and NATO military commanders and members of the Polish parliament”.