RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR TO POLAND CALLS FOR MORE RUSSIAN-POLISH CULTURAL CONTACTS

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WARSAW, March 25, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Nikolai Afanasyevsky, the Russian ambassador to Poland, said that the time has come "to intensify and strengthen Russian-Polish cultural contacts."

"The capital of Poland - Warsaw- is the city where Russian and Polish literatures meet today," Mr. Afanasyevsky said at the Russian-Polish literary seminar on Thursday.

According to him, without the constant presence of Russian culture and literature, cultural life in Poland degrades and creative people are deprived of the chance to have an intellectual dialogue.

He said that Russia has always shown a great interest in Polish literature. "Nowhere else in the world," the ambassador continued, "are so many copies of Polish books published. Polish theater company performances are always a success in Russia. And, people stand in long lines for tickets to Polish films."

The literary seminar was organized by the Union of Polish Writers, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the Russian Center of Science and Culture in Poland.

The Russian delegation included well-known writers, poets, critics and publicists from Moscow and St. Petersburg.

The first Russian-Polish literary seminar took place in March 2001. The director of the Russian Center of Science and Culture in Warsaw, Nina Morozova, told RIA Novosti that such meetings of Russian and Polish writers will be held every two years.

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