Russia's foreign minister said on Thursday that Moscow shares the Polish prime minister's resolve to maintain progress toward better relations despite Polish criticism of the Russian investigation into the plane crash last year that killed Poland's president.
Russia's aviation authorities said Wednesday that pilot error was the main cause of the tragedy, which killed 96 dignitaries, including President Lech Kaczynski, last April in western Russia. The report aroused criticism from some Polish officials.
"We will not allow our relations, which have been improving, to get worse," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
His comments followed a statement by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk vowing that Warsaw would not allow differences over the report to harm relations between the two countries.
The late Polish president's twin brother and opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski criticized Wednesday the Russian probe as being one-sided and lacking in evidence. On Thursday, he criticized Tusk's response to the report.
Polish experts complained about a lack of technical detail on the airport in Smolensk where the plane was due to land.
"We understand the feelings of the Polish side. We tried to cooperate with our Polish colleagues as best we could from the very beginning," Lavrov said.
At least 24 Polish officials were involved in the Russian investigation.
MOSCOW, January 13 (RIA Novosti)