Russian defense minister Pavel Grachev yesterday hailed the prospect of improved Polish-Russian military relations following talks in Moscow with Polish defense minister Stanislaw Dobrzanski. But Grachev said that the two sides remained divided on Warsaw’s intention to join NATO and he cautioned that Moscow might revise military and military-technical contacts with Poland should Warsaw follow through on that policy. The Russian defense chief nevertheless seemed upbeat over an unspecified series of proposals brought to the table by Dobrzanski that led to an agreement on stronger ties. "This is a large step forward, because since 1993 the pace of our cooperation has shrunk considerably." Grachev said. The two sides decided to form working groups for elaboration of future cooperation. On Poland’s initiative they also planned two joint exercises. In addition, Poland will take part in a drill on Ukrainian territory involving Ukrainian, Russian, and U.S. troops. Warsaw also proposed a joint Polish-Russian peacekeeping battalion and expressed interest in supplies of Russian armaments and spare parts, Grachev said. (Reuter, Interfax & Itar-Tass, April 3)
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