Focusing on reconciliation, the presidents of Ukraine and Poland, Leonid Kuchma and Aleksander Kwasniewski, held talks in Kharkiv on June 26 and 27. The presidents laid the foundation stone of a memorial to Ukrainian and Polish victims of Soviet repression and attended an interconfessional religious service at the site.
Kuchma and Kwasniewski visited Kharkiv’s tank plant and aircraft plant in connection with proposals to use those production capacities for joint projects. One project envisages repair and maintenance of Poland’s Soviet-era armored vehicles and military transport aircraft at these Kharkiv plants. Another would start a production line for Bison harvesting combines at the tank plant. Poland’s National Security chief Marek Siwec and the Armed Forces chief of staff, General Henryk Szumski, participated in the talks.
The presidents also discussed possible ways of reconciling visa-free travel between their countries with Poland’s obligation, as a prospective member of the European Union, to introduce some travel restrictions under the Shengen agreement. (UNIAN, DINAU, June 26 through 28)
Kuchma and Kwasniewski last met in May of this year. (see the Monitor, May 26) Ukrainian-Polish summits, which are more and more frequent, are being held both bilaterally and in a region-wide context. They tend to focus on three main dimensions: security consultations, economic cooperation, and political symbolism designed to underscore the two nations’ historic reconciliation.
TURKEY CONCERNED BY AJAR CHALLENGE TO TBILISI.