Medvedev leaves Poland for Russia-EU summit
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday ended a landmark two-day visit in Poland aimed at warming Moscow's ties with the ex-communist EU member and headed for Brussels for an EU-Russia summit.
It was the first state visit by a Russian president to Poland in nine years and was viewed as part of Moscow's drive to reinforce its ties with both the European Union and NATO.
With a population of 38 million, Poland is the largest of the ex-communist states to have joined the organisations and its role in both is growing. Warsaw is poised to take over the EU's rotating presidency in the second half of 2011.
"I'm convinced we are beginning not only a new chapter in Polish-Russian relations, but also a good chapter in the book of bilateral relations that we have been writing for the last 1,000 years," Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski said after talks with Medvedev on Monday.
Komorowski also said Poland supported Russia's swift accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
"I hope that Poland's more active participation will address the issues of reconciliation between Russia and the European Union and NATO," Medvedev said.
The Russian president also met with liberal Prime Minister Donald Tusk. Four agreements on economic, environmental and legal cooperation were also inked during the visit.
At an EU-Russia summit later Tuesday in Brussels, Medvedev and European Union leaders are hoping to sweep aside most remaining obstacles to Moscow's entry into the WTO and further warm their ties.
Before leaving Medvedev paid homage to Soviet troops who perished in Warsaw during World War II at a cemetery in the Polish capital.
© 2010 AFP