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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski held negotiations in Warsaw

January 16, 2002, Warsaw

Before their meeting, President Putin handed over copies of documents from Russian archives to the Polish President. The documents concern General Wladyslaw Sikorski, a well-known Polish military leader and politician. From 1939 until 1943, General Sikorski was Prime Minister of the Polish Government in Exile in London and had signed a treaty on resuming diplomatic relations between the USSR and Poland.

The Russian President called the previous decade in bilateral relations a period of missed opportunities and stressed that such relations had now attained an entirely new positive level.

Addressing a news conference after the talks, Mr Putin stressed that Russia and Poland were interested in full-scale relations, and that expanded cooperation should benefit the people of both countries.

The Russian President said Russia and Poland should maintain pragmatic relations in the context of NATO and European Union expansion.

Mr Putin said the accession of Poland to the EU should not have a negative influence on bilateral cooperation and would not hinder direct contacts between the citizens of both countries.

January 16, 2002, Warsaw