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Wednesday, 11 October 2006

Chances for warming the climate of bilateral relations

On 11 October 2006, Undersecretary of State at the Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Krawczyk, received a group of Russian journalists currently on a visit to Poland at the invitation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The following journalists attended the meeting held at the Presidential Palace:
Anton Ivanitsky (editor, Gazeta international section), Aleksey Andreev (head, Novye Izvestia international section), Katerina Labletskaya (Vremya Novostey), Irina Chumakova (RIA Novosti), Julia Petrovskaya (head, Nezavisimaya Gazeta international policy section), Vasily Kashin (Vedomosti).

In the course of the meeting, a number of issues relevant to Polish-Russian relations were addressed. Minister Krawczyk pointed to the historical and cultural ties linking the two countries. In his opinion, Polish-Russian relations may be described as good both in the economic and cultural fields. The Minister emphasized that the opinion that anti-Russian attitudes were prevalent among the Polish people was definitely untrue.

Minister Andrzej Krawczyk voiced an opinion that it was the political climate, which had not been the best over the past few years, that had been a problem in the shaping of good relations between the Republic of Poland and the Russian Federation. He pointed to the burden of decades of communism that weighed heavily on mutual relations. The Minister observed that there were now good chances for warming the climate of Polish-Russian relations. He gave a very favourable assessment of the Russian Federation’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s recent visit to Poland. He said that the Polish side took very seriously Minister Lavrov’s declaration that the Russian authorities, beginning with President Vladimir Putin, regarded a meeting between the two presidents as a matter of major importance, an aim worth working towards. According to Andrzej Krawczyk, a meeting between the two leaders may mark a beginning of change in the climate of Polish-Russian relations and help overcome mutual prejudice and stereotypes.

Other issues discussed in the course of the meeting included the current political situation in Poland, Polish-German relations and the so-called missile shield.
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