A blog by an American expatriate living in the heart of New Europe

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Kiss and make up

Russia interested in Poland's increasing role in Europe
MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is interested in Poland's increasing role in Europe, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by the popular Russian daily Moscovskiye Novosti Friday.

'We are seeking Poland's constructive and stabilizing role in Europe, including in the EU and NATO,' Lavrov said.

The minister said Russia believes that Poland 'will use its significant potential constructively to contribute to the formation of a greater Europe without dividing lines,' adding that Russia is prepared to up bilateral cooperation.

Lavrov admitted however, that there were some problems in bilateral relations between the two countries and that the countries have established working groups to address problem issues.


Warsaw Business Journal

Making up with the bear

Tensions between Poland and Russia seem to be dissipating

A recent poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center shows that a significant chunk of Russians view Poland in a friendly light. The poll follows a phone call between Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewki and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, during which they agreed to work on improving the "unfavorable atmosphere" that has emerged between the two countries after a series of attacks on Poles in Moscow, including a diplomat and a journalist, and the mugging of three children of Russian diplomats in Warsaw.

The poll showed that though 40 percent of Russians believed the teenagers' mugging was caused by nationalistic zeal, nearly 30 percent believed the attack was nothing more than the work of hooligans.

The study also found that 35 percent of Russians see Poland as a normal European country, while 13 percent said they would like to visit it. Thirty percent of Russians remember Poland as Russia's World War II ally, while 40 percent call their common struggle against the Nazis as an important chapter in Russo-Polish relations.

At an Army Day military parade, President Kwaśniewski urged Poles to avoid anti-Russian sentiment.

"In relations with Russia we must do everything to eliminate radicalism and prevent the strengthening of negative, senseless stereotypes in order to conduct dialogue and build relations serving a neighborly future," Kwasniewski said.

The journalist attacked in Moscow, Paweł Reszka, has said that he harbors no ill will towards Russians, and that despite the beatings he will remain in Russia until at least 2006.


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