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Polish premier to visit Russia in late Jan.

WARSAW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) - Poland's new prime minister, Donald Tusk, will visit Russia in late January, the Polish parliamentary speaker said on Tuesday.

Speaking during a video link between Warsaw and Moscow, Stefan Niesiolowski said: "We were glad to hear today that our premier is to visit Moscow in late January, and that Russia's foreign minister will visit Warsaw before then."

Ties between Poland and Russia began to improve after the new rightwing government came to power in Poland in October. Moscow and Warsaw have since agreed to tackle the two main points of contention in their relations.

Moscow has announced plans to lift an embargo on Polish meat supplies, and Warsaw pledged to lift a moratorium on a new EU-Russia cooperation pact it imposed in response to the trade restrictions, which it considered political.

The agriculture ministers from the two countries agreed last Wednesday on measures to lift the ban - imposed by Moscow in 2005 over what it said was the low quality of meat and other products imported by and via Poland - and said they planned to sign a memorandum in the Russian western exclave of Kaliningrad this week.

Prime Minister Tusk, who has moved to improve ties with Russia since the election victory of his liberal Civic Platform party, has assured Moscow that Poland will lift its veto on the start of talks for a new EU-Russia agreement as soon as Russia drops the meat import ban.

Speaking during the video link, Russian presidential aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky said that, "What has been happening [in bilateral relations] in the past two years is utterly deplorable."

"We believe our relations deserve something much better, that they can become one of those bridges linking Russia and Europe, Russia and the EU," he said.

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