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659 APPENDIX B. THE LETTER OF THE CO-CHAIRS OF THE GROUP ON DIFFICULT MATTERS TO THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF POLAND AND RUSSIA Moscow, 22 June 2009 Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland Radosław Sikorski Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov Excellencies, As you are aware, on 28–29 May 2009, the group held in Kraków its third meeting, during which the participants agreed on the final formula and structure of the joint publication devoted to complex problems arising from their common history and exchanged the prepared texts. They also discussed and endorsed another joint publication prepared with the group’s input, devoted to the genesis of World War II. The group members further reviewed issues connected with the involvement of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church in Poland in the bilateral social dialogue, with particular reference to historical issues. As usual, the group’s work was conducted in a constructive and friendly atmosphere. The participants noted on this occasion that, with regard to the Katyn crime, the group’s work had attained the limits of its competency and that it could not ensure further progress without the appropriate support of the foreign ministers and leaders of the two states. Mindful that the forthcoming seventieth anniversary of World War II and the anniversary of the Katyn tragedy might become an additional factor evoking negative emotions over historical issues and hindering the development of relations between our states, the group enjoined the co-chairs to draft concrete proposals concerning settlement of the Katyn crime question and to advise the foreign ministers and leaders of Poland and Russia of their content. The participants unanimously supported recommending to the leaders of the two states that joint new measures be taken to commemorate the victims of Ka- 660 APPENDIX B tyn and that free access to all documents connected with this matter be ensured. The group’s members believe it essential to give the relevant efforts of the parties a durable and institutional character so as to jointly and conclusively remove the issue of the Katyn crime from the agenda of bilateral relations. Guided by the above motives and also opinions expressed during meetings, the co-chairs propose that consideration be given to the establishment in Russia (e.g., in Smolensk) and in Poland (in Warsaw) of two Polish-Russian centers concerned with preserving memory as well as documenting and conducting archival works. The institutions thus established (e.g., Polish-Russian Houses of Common History) would also be concerned more broadly with issues relating to historicalmemorial matters. In particular, these institutions could fulfill the following functions: • Commemorating the victims and passing moral-political judgment on the perpetrators of the crime • Maintaining burial sites in proper condition, including those connected with the Katyn crime as well as other Polish and Russian burial sites on the territories of both states • Countering attempts to falsify history by promoting historical research • Conducting educational activity, primarily addressed to the young generation The leaders of the two states might appoint the persons responsible for executing this decision. The adoption of a joint decision by the governments of the two states and its public announcement during the visit to Poland by the prime minister of the Russian Federation, planned this autumn, would be an important step in improving and shaping a new type of mutual Polish-Russian relations. Such a decision would remove the significant obstacles that in recent years have had negative impact on Polish-Russian relations and are being exploited by certain circles to inflame unfriendly emotions. The meetings of the co-chairs with high-ranking hierarchs of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland and with the patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church have convinced us that the Church in Poland and the Orthodox Church in Russia are prepared to actively engage in resolving this issue and, more broadly, in the process of rapprochement of the two nations. Professor Academician Adam D. Rotfeld Anatoly V. Torkunov ...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780822980957
Related ISBN
9780822944409
MARC Record
OCLC
914230098
Pages
704
Launched on MUSE
2015-08-17
Language
English
Open Access
No
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