Russia's Minister of Culture: Polish, Russian Cultures Miss Each Other

On June 28, in Warsaw, Mikhail Shvydkoi and Bogdan Zielinski, the Ministers of Culture of Russia and Poland, signed a joint protocol concerning cultural cooperation, which is supposed to normalise and animate cultural exchange between the two countries. The ministers agreed that more Polish cultural events were needed in Moscow and more Russian events should be held in Warsaw. Planned among the first events in this way is the Warsaw-Moscow 1900-2000 exhibition, following the Paris-Moscow or Berlin-Moscow models.

Other reached agreements include those for exchanging the tours of Moscow's Bolshoi opera and ballet theatre in Warsaw and Warsaw's National Theatre in Moscow and Poland's participation in the festivities in the observance of St. Petersburg's tercentenary in 2003.

Speaking at a press conference after the signing of the protocol, Mikhail Shvydkoi compared Russia and Poland with neighbours who 'used to live together, then parted and now are missing each other'. He noted, 'This is the right time for fundamentally new relations'.

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