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  • 9 March 2017

    “We are open to constructive cooperation and we are undertaking actions to break the impasse in which we are now,” said Minister Witold Waszczykowski at a ceremony during which he handed nominations to the Polish members of the Polish-Russian Group for Difficult Matters.

    Professor Mirosław Filipowicz, Director of the Institute of East Central Europe in Lublin, is the new Plenipotentiary of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Polish-Russian Group for Difficult Matters. New members of the Polish part of the Group, which has resumed its activities after a two-year hiatus, are outstanding academics and experts who specialise in Russia and Eastern affairs.



    Minister Witold Waszczykowski said that the aim of the Group is to work out a clear vision of action and a programme that will be acceptable to both sides: Poland and Russia. “We are looking forward with hope to the first joint meeting of the Polish and Russian parts,” said the MFA chief.


    “We see a need for social dialogue, for developing people-to-people contacts, for cultural cooperation and for rebuilding bilateral economic relations with our Russian neighbour,” he stressed. “Russia and Poland are neighbours, and substantive dialogue that overcomes stereotypes lies in our mutual interest,” he added. The minister also declared that despite the difficult situation, Poland is open to constructive cooperation.


    Polish MFA chief also noted that the Group is resuming its activities at a time when Russia is seeking “to rebuild the world order.” This often takes place in violation of norms of international law,” stressed Minister Waszczykowski. He also noted that “difficult matters are not just the past. They are primarily the present and the future” and said he hoped that “mutual contacts between the new generations of the Polish and Russian intelligentsia will allow them to develop a modus vivendi acceptable to both sides.”


    Professor Filipowicz stressed in turn that in the dialogue with Russia one has to look for “ways of discussing that are free of stereotyped accusations and are based on mutual empathy.” “It is also well to remember that one should not reduce Russia to the dimension of its authorities’ policy,” he noted. He also recalled that a few weeks ago an analogous Polish-Ukrainian group began to work. “We have to remember that our discussion with Russia cannot be held at the cost of our discussion with Ukraine,” he added.


    The ceremony was also attended by the Russian Ambassador to Poland Sergey Andreev and the Polish Ambassador to Russia Włodzimierz Marciniak, Deputy Minister Jarosław Sellin from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and Deputy Minister Jakub Skiba from the Ministry of the Interior and Administration, Senator Marek Rocki and Sejm Deputy Robert Tyszkiewicz.


    The Polish-Russian Group for Difficult Matters was created in 2002 and it acts as a consultative body for the governments of Poland and Russia. The last meeting of the Group took place on 16 November 2013 in Kaliningrad.


    During their meeting on 9 and 10 March, members of the reactivated Group will decide about the action plan for 2017 and the agenda of talks with the Russian side.


    MFA Press Office


    Members of the Polish-Russian Group for Difficult Matters


    1. Professor Mirosław Filipowicz, Director of the Institute of East Central Europe, Professor of John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin, co-chairman of the Group
    2. Professor Wiesław Caban, Ph.D. hab., Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce
    3. Dr Adam Eberhardt, Director of the Centre for Eastern Studies
    4. Dr Andrzej Grajewski, Catholic journalist, historian
    5. Father Leszek Kryża, Office Director of the association  Aid for the Church in the East of the Polish Bishops’ Conference
    6. Professor Jerzy Menkes, Ph.D. hab., Warsaw School of Economics
    7. Professor Grzegorz Motyka, Director of the Institute of Political Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences
    8. Professor Andrzej Nowak, Ph.D. hab., the Jagiellonian University and the Institute of History of the Polish Academy of Sciences, member of the Institute of National Remembrance
    9. Father Professor Henryk Paprocki, Ph.D. hab., Christian Orthodox theologian,
    10. Dr Adam Pomorski, translator and expert on Russian literature
    11. Dr Marek Radziwon, Institute of Central Eastern Europe
    12. Professor Rafał Wnuk, John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
    13. Professor Mariusz Wołos, Ph.D. hab., Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Pedagogical University of Krakow
    14. Dr Wojciech Woźniak, General Director of State Archives
    15. Ernest Wyciszkiewicz, Director of the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding

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