Planned concerts in Poland by Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters have been canceled after his comments on the war in Ukraine caused a storm of criticism.
- Roger Waters said “extreme nationalists” had set Ukraine on a path to war with Russia
- He also hit out at a local councillor over a vote to declare him unwelcome in Krakow
- Support for Ukraine is high in Poland
Waters had been due to appear in Krakow next April, but Polish media reports about an open letter he wrote to Ukraine’s First Lady Olena Zelenska provoked a fierce backlash.
In it, he accused “extreme nationalists” in Ukraine of setting the country “on the path to war.”
He also accused Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of failing to fulfill his election campaign promises to bring peace to the Donbas region.
Organizers said they canceled the two concerts at Krakow’s Tauron arena.
Poland counts itself among Kyiv’s staunchest allies, and public support for the Ukrainian cause is very high.
On Facebook, Waters hit out at local politician Lukasz Wantuch, who had tried to have him declared not welcome in Poland.
“Lukasz Wantuch has threatened to hold a meeting asking the council to declare me ‘Persona non grata’ because of my public efforts to encourage all involved in the disastrous war in Ukraine, especially the governments of the USA and Russia, to work towards a negotiated peace,” he wrote.
“If Mr Lukasz Wantuch achieves his aim, and my forthcoming concerts in Krakow are cancelled, it will be a sad loss for me, because I have been looking forward to sharing my message of love with the people of Poland.”
In retaliation, Mr Wantuch suggested Waters could use the date which had “opened up in his calendar” to instead play a concert in Russian-annexed Crimea.