WARSAW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) - The Polish government has cancelled all cultural events between Russia and Poland scheduled for the cross-cultural exchange year in 2015 due to the escalating crisis in Ukraine, Poland's government spokesperson Małgorzata Kidawa-Błońska said Thursday.
"This is the government's decision. Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and the Culture Minister Małgorzata Omilanowska univocally decided that in light of the current political situation, and all that is going on in Ukraine, in the situation, where a [Malaysia Airlines] plane was shot down, holding the year of Poland in Russia is impossible," the spokesperson said.
All Russian events in Poland that are part of the 2015 exchange year will also be cancelled, Kidawa-Błońska added.
The Russian-Polish cross-cultural year was a mutual initiative of the countries' foreign ministers, agreed upon in December 2013 in Warsaw.
Poland, along with other European Union members, has accused Russia of destabilizing Ukraine and urged increased NATO protection of its territory after Crimea reunited with Russia in March.
Europe, together with the United States, imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russian individuals and businesses due to the Ukrainian crisis. The West got even loouder in its accusations of Russia supporting militia that controls Ukraines eastern regions after the recent downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which killed 298 people.
The EU prepares a new round limitations against Russia to be announced Thursday, a week after the airliner crash.