Russia seeks to build up relations with Poland on the basis of pragmatism and mutual consideration of each other's interests, said official Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko in a RIA Novosti interview on Tuesday. The interview was given in connection with the visit to Poland by Igor Ivanov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, on June 19.
Yakovenko stressed that Moscow "attaches heightened interest in maintaining stable, even and predictable relations" with that major European country that directly borders on Russia. The diplomat noted that the Russian side "intends to use the forthcoming negotiations to further deepen contacts in all spheres, for quests of points of contact of the two countries on topical issues of world politics, above all, on the European continent." The high-ranking diplomat pointed out that Poland is one of Russia's leading trade and economic partners which plays a major role in the transit of Russian energy sources to Western Europe. In 2001 foreign trade totalled 5.1 billion dollars. The Russian diplomat considers it important to prevent Poland's joining the European Union from leading to a drop in trade and economic cooperation and the erection of additional barriers for contacts between people, including in connection with the forthcoming introduction of the visa regime on the Russian-Polish border. Both Russia and Poland should be equally interested in that," said Yakovenko in conclusion.
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969