13:50 GMT27 May 2020
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    The Polish government's apprehensions come amid calls by one of the country's most senior and respected politicians for a rapprochement between Moscow and Warsaw.

    Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz has voiced his concern regarding the possibility of a 'reset' in relations between Moscow and Washington following the upcoming Helsinki summit between the Russian and US presidents, adding that he was glad that Washington and Brussels continue to support anti-Russian sanctions.

    "In general, negotiations, the desire of President Vladimir Putin to convince President Trump to change his policy does not deserve criticism, but we will see what effect it will have," Czaputowicz said, according to the Polish Press Agency.

    Poland's ruling Law and Justice government has taken a hard line on Russia in a number of areas, from energy projects (with Warsaw attempting to block construction of the Nord Steam 2 gas pipeline) to the NATO military buildup in Eastern Europe, which Poland supports.

    Polish PM's Father Calls for Rapprochement 

    Speaking to Sputnik, Polish lawmaker Kornel Morawiecki, the father of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, advised his son to do more to try to improve relations with Russia.

    "I am very upset that both the Polish government and Polish media, and one could say Polish elites and much of the population, are against the Russians," Morawiecki said, adding that similar sentiments were present on the Russian side as well.

    The veteran politician, who founded a militant wing of the Solidarity movement in the 1980s, said the current state of affairs was "insulting to our two great nations."

    "Each of our peoples has had a very complex historical destiny. At one time we each fought for hegemony, and Russia won this battle. Nevertheless, I believe that it is in the interest our peoples, of Europe and even the whole world to see an improvement in relations between Poland and Russia. I would really like that," Morawiecki said. "I do not know how to achieve this, but I think that every step and every gesture is important."

    The politician noted, for example, that when President Putin won another term after March's presidential elections, he did not receive congratulations from Warsaw. "I would like to ask that President Putin, when we have some changes here, like elections, that he draws attention to this, and expresses a gesture of openness toward the Poles," he said.

    Incidentally, President Putin did congratulate Andrzej Duda after he was elected Poland's president in 2015, expressing hope that the two countries could build a "constructive relationship."

    Ultimately, Morawiecki stressed that Warsaw should not underestimate Russia's strategic significance, noting that Europe and Russia need one another. "I think that neither we Poles or you Russians want to remain in a state of hostility, but rather would like friendly relations," the politician concluded.

    Presidents Putin and Trump will meet in Helsinki on July 16, and are expected to discuss a range of issues, from Syria, Ukraine and Crimea to claims of Russian meddling in US elections. This will be their third meeting following talks in July 2017 in Hamburg, Germany and November 2017 at the APEC summit in Da Nang, Vietnam.


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