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Polish-Russian contact group postpones meeting – again

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Polish-Russian contact group postpones meeting – again

A meeting billed in April of the Polish-Russian Group for Difficult Issues, which was set up to look into the countries’ joint history and address challenging areas of bilateral relations, has been postponed indefinitely.

The announcement was made by former foreign minister and co-chair of the Group, Adam Daniel Rotfeld, who underlined that the decision was taken by both himself and his Russian opposite number Anatoly Torkunov.
The meeting was expected to be held on 9-11 April, although the date clashes with the fifth anniversary of the Smolensk catastrophe on 10 April, which killed President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other top-ranking Poles on their way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre.

“It is certain that the meeting will not go ahead on 10 April,” Rotfeld told the PAP news agency, adding that “we have not decided upon a future date when the meeting may take place”.

Rotfeld underlined that the meeting of the Group was expected to be routine and address continuing archival research on the countries’ bilateral history.

“In the current atmosphere, any discussions on this issue would be something totally abstract, if not absurd,” Rotfeld said, adding that “we came to the conclusion that we will present our research at a moment when the atmosphere will be calmer”.

This is the fourth time the meeting of the Polish-Russian Group for Difficult Issues has been postponed. “It was supposed to take place in June last year, but it was then moved back three times before now,” Rotfeld added.

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