Presidents of Russia and Poland criticized street attacks

President Vladimir Putin talked with his Polish counterpart, Aleksandr Kwasniewski, by telephone Friday after the beating of a Polish journalist - the third attack on Polish citizens in Moscow, including a diplomat, in five days.

Kwasniewski contacted Putin late Thursday after Pawel Reszka, correspondent for Poland's leading Rzeczpospolita daily, was beaten Thursday evening in central Moscow, and expressed concern that the attacks in Moscow were "leading to a harmful escalation of hostility."

Kwasniewski's office said that Putin also "strongly criticized the radical actions and hooligan acts which took place in Russia and Poland."

The attack on Reszka came after the beating of the Polish Embassy's second secretary on Wednesday, and the Aug. 7 beating of a telephone technician working at the embassy.

On Saturday, following a meeting between Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Loshchinin and Polish Ambassador Stefan Meller, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it hoped that anti-Russian sentiment in Poland would be quelled to avoid "an atmosphere in which all sorts of criminal high jinks become possible, similar to those in Warsaw and Moscow."

"We are not satisfied with the current state of Russian-Polish relations," the ministry said in a statement posted on its web site, informs the Moscow Times.

According to Interfax, Talking about attacks on the children of Russian diplomats in Warsaw, Meller said, "We have caught two hooligans in Warsaw who were trading the mobile phones that had earlier been taken away from the children. One of the leaders of that ring was arrested yesterday. Those responsible for attacking the Russian children will be under arrest in the next few days or even hours," he said.

"I am also waiting for those who beat Poles in Moscow to be caught as well," Meller said.

"As for the attacks in Moscow, there is no doubt that we deal with hooligans or thugs, although they are perfectly aware of who they are hunting for," he said.

Attacks on polish citizens started after three teenagers, the children of Russian diplomats and a Kazakh schoolboy were attacked in Poland. According to witnesses, the attackers included about 15 people, aged 19-25. They shouted anti-Russian slogans and obscenities.

During medical examinations, doctors found numerous bruises, and scratches on the victims. The teenagers had some of their teeth knocked out, one boy had a broken nose and doctors suspect that one had a concussion. There were no internal injuries and the victims declined a hospital stay, reminds Pravda.

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