Poland's Lech Walesa Encourages Closer Ties with Russia

World | September 20, 2013, Friday // 12:08
Poland's Lech Walesa Encourages Closer Ties with Russia: Poland's Lech Walesa Encourages Closer Ties with Russia Former Polish President and trade union leader Lech Walesa, photo EPA/BGNES

Former Polish President Lech Walesa urged his country to overcome its historic differences with Russia and to foster good neighborly relations.

The founder of the Solidarity trade union and one of the most renown dissidents of Socialist-era Europe is concerned about the current state of Polish-Russian relations.

"We are too slow in solving our problems and reaching an understanding. We must aim to make our relations as smooth as possible, since we are fated to be neighbors", said Walesa, cited by ITAR-TASS.

Tensions between Poland and Russia have been ongoing during large periods of history. More recently, the tragic death of President Lech Kaczynski and 95 other members of the Polish delegation in an airplane crash near Smolensk in 2010 sparked controversy. Conspiracy theories regarding Russian involvement in the accident have been lingering among Polish society.

"Until we sit down to openly talk about our problems, our wounds cannot heal", added Walesa.

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Tags: Former Polish President, trade union leader, Lech Walesa, solidarity, Poland, Russia, Smolensk, Lech Kaczynski
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