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Russian Foreign Minister Attends Polish Diplomatic Meeting

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) shakes hands with his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski at the Foreign Ministry in Warsaw.
WARSAW -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has attended an annual meeting of Polish diplomats for the first time, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

At a press conference in Warsaw, Lavrov thanked Poland for its support of a Russian initiative to grant visa-free travel to Poland for Russian citizens living in the Kaliningrad exclave.

He said that "of course the agreement on the near-border, visa-less travel between Kaliningrad and Polish provinces will be a very important step in that direction."

Lavrov also announced that Russia was preparing a new packet of documents regarding the plane crash in April near Smolensk that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and dozens of other Polish officials, and would declassify new documents about the World War II-era Katyn massacre from its archives.

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorsky said he supported Lavrov's statement.

"Atonement between our peoples should be based on truth and happiness, and therefore, Russia is continuing to work on the declassification of documents concerning Katyn," he said.

Lavrov also announced that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev plans to visit Poland, though he did not say when.

Russia has been reticent to declassify documents related to the 1940 execution of some 21,000 Polish nationals by the Soviet NKVD secret police in a forest near the Russian village of Katyn, which is west of Smolensk and 60 kilometers from the Belarusian border.