World

Russian ambassador says he regrets blaming WWII on Poland, words that caused diplomatic spat

  • FILE - This file photo from May 12, 2015, shows Russian ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev during a news conference in Warsaw, Poland. Andreev cause an uproar for saying that Poland was partly to blame for the outbreak of World War II due to policies in the 1930s that failed to stop Adolf Hitler. He backtracked from those remarks on Monday, saying he regretted not being more precise in his choice of words. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    FILE - This file photo from May 12, 2015, shows Russian ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev during a news conference in Warsaw, Poland. Andreev cause an uproar for saying that Poland was partly to blame for the outbreak of World War II due to policies in the 1930s that failed to stop Adolf Hitler. He backtracked from those remarks on Monday, saying he regretted not being more precise in his choice of words. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This file photo from May 12, 2015, shows Russian ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev during a news conference in Warsaw, Poland. Andreev cause an uproar for saying that Poland was partly to blame for the outbreak of World War II due to policies in the 1930s that failed to stop Adolf Hitler. He backtracked from those remarks on Monday, saying he regretted not being more precise in his choice of words. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

    FILE - This file photo from May 12, 2015, shows Russian ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev during a news conference in Warsaw, Poland. Andreev cause an uproar for saying that Poland was partly to blame for the outbreak of World War II due to policies in the 1930s that failed to stop Adolf Hitler. He backtracked from those remarks on Monday, saying he regretted not being more precise in his choice of words. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)  (The Associated Press)

Russia's ambassador to Poland has partly backtracked from an accusation that Poland bears some blame for starting World War II because of its policies in the 1930s, words that outraged Poles.

Sergey Andreev said Monday he had no intention of offending the Polish nation and added: "I regret that I wasn't sufficiently precise."

He spoke to reporters after being summoned to the Foreign Ministry following comments in a TV interview Friday that sparked the uproar.

World War II began after Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union sealed a secret pact in 1939 to divide up Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe. Millions of Polish citizens died in the conflict.

Andreev on Friday described Soviet actions as an act of self-defense, not aggression.