The two countries have long been at odds and the Polish ambassador’s visit to Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday morning was far from a social call.
Wojciech Zajaczkowski was summoned and told that Moscow wants an official apology after far-right rioters threw firecrackers at the Russian embassy in Warsaw. A sentry box for police was set alight.
Russia also asked Poland to take steps to punish those responsible, protect Russian diplomatic buildings and “prevent a repeat of such provocations in the future”, the ministry said.
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has expressed regret for what happened, saying that “certain events” were “embarrassing” for Poland.
“I am talking about the inadmissible act of aggression against policemen protecting the Russian embassy and against the embassy itself,” he said.
Violence flared on Monday when far-right youths disrupted a nationalist march marking Poland’s independence day.
The main target of the rioters appeared to be any symbol of left-wing, liberal views, but for some Poles the Russian embassy is a symbol of repression during decades of Soviet post-war domination.