Russia's Medvedev arrives in Poland for ice-breaking state visit

06 Dec

Dmitry Medvedev and ambassador to Poland Alexander Alekseyev


December 06, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived on Monday in the Polish capital of Warsaw for potentially groundbreaking state visit.

Medvedev will discuss bilateral ties, including Russian-Polish energy cooperation, as well as European security issues with Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

On Tuesday, Medvedev will visit the Soviet War Memorial in Warsaw before leaving for a Russia-EU summit in Brussels.

Medvedev’s spouse Svetlana will also meet with the Polish first lady, Anna Komorowska.

The top-level talks in Poland are expected to be “very positive,” Medvedev’s aide Sergei Prikhodko told journalists.

“The sides intend to strengthen current positive trends in bilateral relations and create conditions for the improvement of Russian-Polish ties in all spheres,” Prikhodko said.

Ties between Russia and Poland, which had been hampered for decades over a range of historical disputes, have improved since the two sides were drawn together in grief after the April 10 plane crash in western Russia that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski.

During the talks, the two presidents are expected to seal several deals, including an agreement on the fight against pollution in the Baltic Sea and on cooperation between the Russian and Polish prosecutor’s offices. Agreements on energy, trade and investment cooperation are also on the agenda.

Medvedev and Komorowski will also give their assessment of the probe into April’s tragedy, which occurred when the Polish presidential plane hit trees while landing in thick fog near the western Russian city of Smolensk. Besides Kaczynski, the crash claimed the lives of 95 Polish dignitaries, including the president’s wife, who were on their way to a memorial ceremony in honor of thousands of Polish officers killed by Soviet secret police in Katyn near Smolensk.

The State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, in late November recognized the 1940 massacre as a crime committed by Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin’s regime. Poland welcomed the move.

Prikhodko said the Polish-Russian dialogue should be based on a “constructive approach,” adding that “controversial pages of our common past should not be negatively reflected in the present and the future of out relations, and even less should they hamper them.”

Ahead of Medvedev’s visit to Poland, Komorowski promised to take steps to speed up rapprochement between the two countries.

“The process of rapprochement and reconciliation of our countries has started, and I, as the Polish president, will contribute to this,” the Polish president said in an interview with RIA Novosti.   (*)

WARSAW, December 6


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