REGIONAL SUMMIT CARRIES HISTORIC SYMBOLISM.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 109
PresidentsLeonid Kuchma of Ukraine, Lennart Meri of Estonia, Guntis Ulmanisof Latvia, and Algirdas Brazauskas of Lithuania yesterday joinedtheir German, Polish, Czech, Slovak, and Hungarian counterparts– Roman Herzog, Aleksander Kwasniewski, Vaclav Havel, MichalKovac, and Arpad Goencz — for a political meeting and a specialreligious service performed by the Polish-born Pope John PaulII. The event was held in Poland’s former religious capital Gnieznoto mark the 1000th anniversary of the death of St. Adalbert, asymbol of the Christian unity of East-Central Europe and of itspolitical and cultural links with the West. A German-educatedSlav from Bohemia who conducted missionary activities in largeareas of the east and was martyred there, St. Adalbert is a unifyingfigure venerated throughout the region.
The political summit in Gniezno focused on European and regionalsecurity, NATO’s eastward enlargement, and economic cooperationamong the region’s countries. The presidents were said to haveemphasized Ukraine’s pivotal significance to common security andthe need to expand communications and trade between the region’sBaltic and Black Sea coasts. (Western agencies, Ukrinform, June3) The event crowned the recent Baltic-Ukrainian summit in Tallinnand the Polish-Ukrainian summit in Kiev, both of which focusedon a similar set of regional security and economic issues. Thethree summits, held in the space of as many weeks, appear to markthe beginning of a long-term effort to reconstruct historic linksamong the region’s nations, overcoming divisions bequeathed byRussian and Soviet hegemony.
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