Polish, Russian FMs discuss bilateral relations

08:43, September 03, 2010      

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The normalization of Russian-Polish relations, economic cooperation and border traffic between Poland and the Russian Federation's Kaliningrad District dominated Thursday's Warsaw talks between Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

At a press conference after the meeting, both ministers declared that improvements in mutual relations would be possible only if they were "based on truth."

Lavrov was invited to Poland by Sikorski for an annual ambassadors' meeting.

Sikorski and Lavrov also discussed both countries' stance on the 1940 Katyn Forest Massacre of 22,000 Polish POWs by the Soviet NKVD service. Emotions around the issue were additionally heightened after the April 10 death of the Polish president and a delegation of VIPs in a plane crash near Smolensk on their way to Katyn anniversary ceremonies.

Lavrov said relations between Russia and Poland were currently developing well and suggested that the Smolensk tragedy had brought Poles and Russians closer together.

This tragedy is not the only reason for rapprochement between Russians and Poles, but it has somehow brought the two nations together, the Russian foreign minister was quoted as saying by the PAP news agency.

According to Lavrov, Poland and Russia were eager to improve their ties. He also praised the work of a Russian-Polish difficult issues commission. Poles and Russians want to cooperate and have normal relations, Lavrov noted.

Lavrov pointed out that Polish-Russian trade in the first half of this year reached almost 10 billion U.S. dollars and was higher than in the previous year.

Lavrov also revealed that Russian President Dmitri Medvedev had accepted the Polish president's invitation to visit Poland. Sikorski said he was pleased about Medvedev's visit and assured that Poland and Russia will strive to make their relations "less military and more economic."

Calling Russia "our big neighbor, strategic partner and important EU partner," Sikorski said that both countries were striving for modernization, and that Poland will support partnership in modernization projects between Russia and the EU.

The two ministers also discussed visa-free travel between Poland and Russia's Kaliningrad District. Sikorski said understanding in this matter could enhance visa-free travel between the EU and Russia.

Sikorski and Lavrov also discussed cooperation between Russia and the EU and NATO.

Source: Xinhua


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