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    Poland, Russia should take new steps toward reconciliation - Komorowski

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    Poland and Russia can and should take new steps toward reconciliation, Poland's acting head of state and the frontrunner in the presidential race Bronislaw Komorowski said on Friday

    Poland and Russia can and should take new steps toward reconciliation, Poland's acting head of state and the frontrunner in the presidential race Bronislaw Komorowski said on Friday.

    Komorowski became acting president after a host of senior Polish official including President Lech Kaczynski died in a plane crash in western Russia on April 10. He is now the strongest of 10 candidates in the presidential polls due on June 20 with 41% of support.

    "I have already agreed with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev about his possible visit to Warsaw after the end of the presidential election in Poland," Komorowski said in an interview to RIA Novosti.

    "I have also spoken with the Russian President about what can be done to improve Polish-Russian ties, to expand the spheres of our cooperation," he said.

    Komorowski noted that despite the global economic crisis, the Polish-Russian economic partnership had "developed positively even in the past few years, when our trade turnover had increased threefold."

    "We, politicians, should do all we can for a further intensification of economic cooperation and not inhibit business," he said.

    When asked which country he would visit first if he won the polls, Komorowski said that "Poland is part of the European Union, and it is there that we see the prospect of our development."

    "We also hope to play a large role in the European Union. Therefore the first visit of the new Polish president - whoever he is - should be made to Brussels," he went on.

    "I personally would like to combine such a visit with trips to two other countries - all in one day. The route: Brussels-Paris-Berlin, because the future of Poland's strong position in the European Union depends on the close cooperation within the Weimar Triangle."

    "In regard to Russia, I hope to make a return visit to Russia because President Medvedev promised to visit Poland," he added.

    Komorowski said that most Poles support the government's policy "on this difficult path" towards reconciliation with Russia.

    He noted that the process of reconciliation kicked off when Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Poland last September to take part in the memorial events marking the beginning of World War Two.

    Komorowski said a subsequent meeting between Putin and Polish Prime Minister in Katyn, a forest near the Russian city of Smolensk where thousands of Polish officers were executed by Soviet secret police in 1940, moved the reconciliation further.

    He referred to the heart-rending moment when Putin hugged his Polish counterpart amid the debris of the presidential Tu-154 wreckage in Smolensk.

    "That was an important gesture which the Poles greatly admire," Komorowski said.

    "I think that after this turning point, the unveiling the truth about the Katyn massacre, which had strained Polish-Russian relations for many years, it is possible and necessary to take new steps toward reconciliation," he added.

    WARSAW, June 18 (RIA Novosti)

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