Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 125

The Kremlin announced yesterday that Russian President Boris Yeltsin will travel to Warsaw in December of this year for a summit meeting with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski. The announcement, made by presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky, followed talks in the Kremlin between the two leaders. Kwasniewski, who met June 26-27 in Kharkiv with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma, was in Russia on an unofficial visit.

The Polish president reportedly agreed enthusiastically yesterday to a Russian proposal that the December summit be conducted along the same lines as recent summits between both Russia and Germany and Germany and Poland. Those meetings have included extensive consultations among a large number of top government ministers from both sides, as well as talks between the heads of state. Both Yeltsin and Kwasniewski agreed yesterday that the expanded format would be especially useful because Polish-Russian relations have stagnated of late and the two countries need to consult on a number of outstanding issues.

Yesterday’s talks reportedly focused on two issue areas: key bilateral problems and the situation in Europe. With regard to the latter category, Kwasniewski went out of his way to assure Moscow that Polish membership in NATO was in no way directed at Russia. “Being in NATO does not imply being against Russia,” Kwasniewski said. “We are neighbors and intend to actively develop friendly relations.” Yeltsin and Kwasniewski reportedly also discussed the current crisis in Kosovo, the status of ethnic Poles and Russians in Latvia, and links between Russia and the Kaliningrad region. (Russian agencies, June 29)