20:10 GMT +325 September 2018
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    MOSCOW, MARCH 31, (RIA NOVOSTI) - Poland will not sever ties with Russia now that it is joining the European Union, reassured Stefan Meller, Polish Ambassador to Russia.

    Poland's situation in Europe will spectacularly change, and its influence on Europe skyrocket after May 1, the day that will make it a full-fledged EU member, the diplomat said to a seminar on, "Russia-EU Relations after Union Expansion".

    "Close links with other EU countries will make Poland Russia's more lucrative partner than it is now-we Poles expect that will be so. We are close neighbours, so Poland is eager to be Russia's partner, what with versatile and fruitful contacts available today.

    "Next, EU membership will help Poland to overcome psychological obstacles in its contacts with Russia, and promote economic ties," reasoned the ambassador.

    The two countries have introduced reciprocal visas. He thinks it is a passing arrangement. "We shall abolish visas as soon as we come all together," remarked Mr. Meller.

    He called to step up bilateral cultural exchanges. Their progress is a must. "Polish-Russian relations are to develop not at the government level alone-we are to establish prerequisites for cultural exchanges and communication." Ten countries will join the European Union in a month, sharp. There are apprehensions of the new member countries getting tougher on Russia than long-established EU members. The upcoming expansion has even now bred tensions in Russian relations with Europe-that because Russia's understandings with Central and East European countries have to be reconsidered. The research and practical seminar in Moscow centred on problems of Russian contacts with the new EU countries.

    Apart from Stefan Meller, offering reports to the seminar were Normans Penke, Latvian Ambassador to Russia, and Vytautas Pinkus, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Lithuanian Embassy to Russia. Vladimir Ryzhkov, Russia in United Europe committee coordinator, and member of the State Duma, parliament's lower house, had the seminar chair.

    The debates involved Duma members, experts of European economics, politics and international law, leading Russian economic and political researchers, and spokesmen of Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and major companies, colleges and universities.

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