Moscow is not inclined "to over-exaggerate Russian-Polish differences on the creation of the European security system," a well-informed source in the Kremlin said before Russian President Vladimir Putin's official visit to Poland starting on Wednesday. According to the Kremlin's spokesman, Poland's membership of NATO should not be an insuperable obstacle for cooperation in the spheres of mutual interest". According to RIA Novosti's data, Moscow expects Warsaw "to pay more attention to Russia's proposals concerning security." Experts believe that Russia has rather convincing grounds for such expectations, such as Russia's new position in the world after the September 11th events in the USA, and a higher level of relations with NATO in the new format (Russia plus 19 NATO member-states). The talks in Warsaw are to focus on combating international terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan and the problems of post-conflict settlement. The sides will also discuss other regional conflicts and cooperation in combating the organised crime. Moscow believes that the Chechen problem will not be discussed during the talks or will be considered from some other viewpoint. News came from Poland that the Poznan authorities prohibited demonstrations in support of Chechen separatists during Vladimir Putin's visit. The Russian and Polish Presidents will arrive in Poznan on January 17th in order to address the second economic forum of the two countries. More than 300 Polish and 150 Russian businessmen will take part in the forum. The forum will focus on the liquidation of Poland's great deficit in the trade with Russia which totals 4 billion dollars. Moscow is convinced that any terrorist attempts to find refuge or to get medical care in Poland will meet "an immediate international response".
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.