Polish leader to visit Russia on crash anniversary: official

4th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski will visit Russia in April on the anniversary of the plane crash that killed his predecessor, Lech Kaczynski, the Polish ambassador to Moscow said Tuesday.

"A visit to Russia certainly is planned, at least for the first anniversary of the Smolensk tragedy," ambassador Wojciech Zajaczkowski told the Interfax news agency in an interview.

Kaczynski died with 95 others when his presidential jet crashed on April 10, 2010, as it attempted to land in fog near the city of Smolensk in northwestern Russia.

The Polish president was travelling to attend a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of a massacre of around 22,000 captured Polish officers by the Soviet secret police during World War II at Katyn near Smolensk.

Komorowski's visit to Moscow would come during a warming of long-tense relations between the countries. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met his Polish counterpart during a state visit to Warsaw last month.

Nevertheless Poland has sharply criticised Russia's handling of the crash probe, with Prime Minister Donald Tusk saying last year that the investigation's preliminary findings were unacceptable and riddled with errors.

Russia has stressed that it is handing over full information to Poland and has made efforts to be open to the media. It handed Warsaw an initial 200-page report of its findings in October.

© 2011 AFP

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