Poland's President Lech Kaczynski to meet Putin envoy

Poland's President Lech Kaczynski was to meet an envoy of Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday for talks expected to lay the ground for a top-level meeting as both nations seek to improve relations, officials said.

Sergei Yastrzhembsky, Putin's envoy for EU relations, was to discuss issues including energy policy and a possible presidential meeting with Kaczynski and Foreign Minister Stefan Meller, ministry spokesman Pawel Dobrowolski said.

The meeting is "one of the elements of recently improved Russian-Polish dialogue," he said.

Ties between Moscow and Warsaw soured after Poland, a former Soviet satellite, joined the European Union in 2004, and later that year supported the pro-Western candidate Viktor Yushchenko against a Moscow-backed competitor during neighboring Ukraine's presidential election dispute.

Poland's new conservative government and president have pledged to protect their country's interests against what they call Moscow's efforts to continue wielding influence in eastern Europe.

However, Kaczynski recently offered to meet Putin, preferably on neutral ground, in an effort to improve ties. No date or place has yet been set.

Dobrowolski said energy supplies would be on the agenda "considering the recent turmoil," reports the AP.


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