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Poland’s prime minister expects closer ties with Russia

Poland intends to improve economic, political and security ties with Russia, the country’s prime minister told a group of diplomats in Warsaw on Wednesday.

Donald Tusk, addressing an annual meeting with foreign diplomats accredited in Poland, said: “We would like to bring a practical dimension to changes in our relations with our large neighbor, the Russian Federation," he said. Warsaw wants Russia to “become a more important partner than it has been up to now,” in the context of “economics, politics and security,” he said. Relations between the former Eastern Bloc allies were consistently frosty under Tusk’s predecessor, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the right-wing brother of the current president, Lech Kaczynski.

Tusk’s victory in last October’s parliamentary elections sparked hopes in Russia that Warsaw would take a more accommodating stance on disputes with Moscow, including the planned deployment of US missile shield elements in Poland. Ties between the countries had also been strained by Russia’s two-year embargo on Polish meat, which was lifted late last year. The prime minister said he was sure that relations with Russia will see dramatic improvements in the near future. “I believe that the signals and events of the past two months [since the new government was introduced], prove that this plan is realistic.” (