Another Tragedy Strikes Polish-Russian Relations

The Independent (London, England), April 12, 2010 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Another Tragedy Strikes Polish-Russian Relations


LEADING ARTICLE Leaders everywhere must do their utmost to help limit the damage

Many Poles believe their country to be uniquely prone to tragedy, and the air crash that took the lives of the President, his wife, and dozens of senior officials this weekend will do nothing to dislodge that conviction. The site of the disaster, in the forest of Katyn near Smolensk, adds a bitter and mocking irony. Of all the places in the world where the Polish President's plane could have met with catastrophe, it had to be here: so close to where the elite of the Polish military was murdered on the orders of Stalin - a place, and an act, that prevented any real normalisation of Polish- Russian relations for the whole of the post-war period.

No less tragic and ironic was the timing. The President and his delegation were travelling to Smolensk for ceremonies to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn killings. But the wreath-layings and services to have been held on Saturday were, in political terms, a coda to a joint Russian-Polish commemoration earlier in the week. In a move without precedent, the Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, had invited his Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, to join him in marking this most emotive of anniversaries. And in his speech, Mr Putin acknowledged Soviet responsibility, but also pleaded with Poles to draw a distinction between the Soviet Union under Stalin and Russia today.

Both Mr Tusk's acceptance of the Russian invitation and Mr Putin's words were seen as opening the way for warmer relations between the two countries. But not everyone in Poland supported the efforts of Mr Tusk and his foreign minister, Radoslav Sikorski, in their overtures towards Russia, and the President, Lech Kaczynski, was among the critics. Differences over Russia policy were one reason why Mr Tusk and President Kaczynski headed separate delegations to separate commemorations at Katyn.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Another Tragedy Strikes Polish-Russian Relations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?