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Friday, August 19, 2005

Presidents of Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Georgia meet in Crimea


The leaders of four Soviet successor states held meetings on Ukraine's Crimea peninsula Thursday amid growing efforts by President Viktor Yushchenko and other leader to forge a counterbalance to Russia's regional dominance.

Yushchenko and his Polish counterpart, Aleksander Kwasniewski, were the first two leaders to sit down for one-on-one talks in the Black Sea region Thursday, Yushchenko's press office said in a statement.

The two discussed developments in neighboring Belarus, which is locked in dispute with Poland over the status of ethnic Poles there and which has also crossed swords with Ukraine and Georgia.

The dispute with Belarus "doesn't have a positive impact on bilateral relations," Yushchenko was quoted as saying by his press office.

On Wednesday, Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka said he wants to set up a working group with Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia to coordinate their policy toward Minsk. He also discussed with Polish political leaders the idea of opening a radio station to broadcast into Belarus in support of pro-democracy groups.


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