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Russia Wants 'Constructive' Poland Ties After Duda Win

Polish President-elect Andrzej Duda
Polish President-elect Andrzej Duda

Russian President Vladimir Putin on May 25 called for "constructive ties" with Poland as he congratulated conservative Andrzej Duda on his surprise presidential victory.

Duda won the May 24 vote by 52 percent to 48 percent, according to an exit poll, scoring a stunning turnaround to oust incumbent centrist leader Bronislaw Komorowski.

Duda's Law and Justice party is close to the Catholic Church, socially conservative, and considered less business-friendly than the governing Civic Platform party.

Putin expressed hope in a Kremlin statement that "the building of constructive ties between Russia and Poland, based on the principles of good neighborly relations and a mutual respect for each other's interests, would help strengthen security and stability in Europe."

Poland has been one of the fiercest critics of Russia over its alleged meddling in Ukraine.

The European Union -- of which Poland is a member -- and the United States have slapped sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, with Moscow hitting back with embargoes on Western agricultural produce.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax

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