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“Our Polish Comrades”

It seems to be a transformative moment in the Russia-Poland relationship, facilitated in large part by a change in attitude toward Katyn.  From Judy Dempsey in the New York Times:

“The Poles realized that if they wanted influence in the E.U., particularly in foreign and security policy, they had to be more constructive in the E.U.,” said Susan Stewart, a Russia expert at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin.

Mr. Medvedev acknowledged as much this week in Warsaw. “As Russia does not belong to NATO or the E.U., our relations with both organizations are important. And good relations with our Polish comrades will help us,” he said. To achieve this, Mr. Medvedev said, Russia would continue “cleaning up its historical debris,” a reference to Katyn.

Mr. Putin had begun clearing away some of that debris last year when he wrote an astonishing article for the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza that coincided with the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. “The people of Russia, whose destiny was crippled by the totalitarian regime, fully understand the sensitivities of Poles about Katyn, where thousands of servicemen lie,” Mr. Putin wrote.