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Polish FM says Russia uninterested in dialogue

PR dla Zagranicy
Grzegorz Siwicki 07.11.2017 13:30
Russia is not interested in maintaining dialogue with Poland and "does not want to talk with the Polish government about anything," Poland’s foreign minister said on Tuesday.
Witold Waszczykowski.Witold Waszczykowski.Photo: W.Kusiński/Polish Radio

The authorities in Moscow want to either “wait out this government" led by Poland's governing conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party "or ignore it,” Witold Waszczykowski added.

Talking to online broadcaster Radio Wnet, he said that Polish-Russian dialogue was only being conducted at “lower levels: a technical level and that of experts,” with no relations being maintained by the two countries’ presidents, prime ministers or individual ministers.

While there are “some kind of relations” between experts in the two countries, there is no dialogue with Russia “at the presidential level, or at the level of the prime ministers, or at the level of ministers of foreign affairs or defence,” Waszczykowski said.

This is because Russia “does not want to undertake such dialogue,” he argued.

Waszczykowski added that "the keys to improving Polish-Russian relations are in Moscow."

Polish plane wreckage still in Russian hands

Waszczykowski told Radio Wnet that Poland’s previous government “neglected” the issue of securing the return of the wreckage of a Polish presidential plane that crashed in Russia in 2010. As a result, the wreckage is still in Russia despite ongoing attempts to bring it back to Poland.

The Tu-154M jet crashed near Smolensk, western Russia, on April 10, 2010, killing all 96 on board, among them President Lech Kaczyński, his wife Maria, and dozens of top officials.

Russia argues that it cannot return the wreckage because it is conducting its own ongoing investigation into the Smolensk disaster and that the wreckage represents evidence in that probe, Waszczykowski said.

He added: "We have been clearly telling [Russia] in response: the longer you hold onto the wreckage and the longer you prevent us from winding up this investigation, the more indications you are giving that you have something to hide, the more you uphold us in our belief that this disaster in reality looked different than official reports suggest, both Polish and Russian."

A new Polish commission to reinvestigate the crash in April said that the presidential plane was probably destroyed by a mid-air explosion and that Russian air traffic controllers deliberately misled Polish pilots about their location as they neared the runway.

The new commission was set up by Poland’s conservative governing Law and Justice (PiS) party, which came to power in 2015.

The party is headed by Jarosław Kaczyński, twin brother of Poland’s late President Lech Kaczyński.

PiS has long challenged an official report into the crash issued by the previous Polish government which cited a catalogue of errors on the Polish side, while also pointing to errors made by Russian staff at the control tower of Smolensk Military Airport.

A Russian report placed all the blame on the Poles.


Source: PAP

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