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8 Feb, 2008 14:34

Russia & Poland tired of frosty atmosphere: Polish PM

The Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, has paid a one-day visit to Moscow. He met President Putin and Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov. The visit was aimed at improving Russian-Polish relations, which had deteriorated under his predecessor.

After all the bitterness Russia and Poland want to make friends.

“Even though there are problems in bilateral ties, I wouldn't dramatise them. Even though Poland and Russia tried to ruin ties, there was no success,” President Putin said during the meeting.

The first talks to be held in Moscow in years have showed that warmer ties are possible.

“Poland has lifted its veto over Russia joining the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and our veterinary services have agreed to resume Polish agricultural imports to Russia,” Russia’s Prime Minister Zubkov stressed.

Russian-Polish ties sank to new lows under the current Prime Minister's conservative predecessor. Russia imposed a ban on Polish meat imports. Poland, in turn, blocked talks between Russia and the EU on developing a strategic partnership.

In October Donald Tusk won the parliamentary elections and promised to make up with Russia in his term as Prime Minister.

“Today’s talks showed that both sides are tired of the frosty atmosphere,” Tusk said.

The U.S. anti-missile defense shield plans are still a bone of contention between Russia and Poland. Russia sees the U.S. plans as a threat to security.

Meanwhile, Poland wants to give assurances that hosting the shield is not a hostile act towards Russia, rather its part of its commitment to the U.S. and NATO.

Some analysts suggest that better ties with Poland will allow Russia to exert more influence over the proposed shield.

Today’s talks have been called a diplomatic success. Relations between the two countries have been scarred by a number of long-running disputes. But the elevation of Tusk as the new Premier of Poland gives an opportunity for a fresh start.