07MOSCOW4357, POLISH PRESIDENT REQUESTS PUTIN MEETING AT KATYN

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07MOSCOW4357 2007-09-06 12:47 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Moscow

VZCZCXRO9774
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHMO #4357 2491247
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 061247Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY MOSCOW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3558
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L MOSCOW 004357 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/04/2017 
TAGS: PREL PL RS
SUBJECT: POLISH PRESIDENT REQUESTS PUTIN MEETING AT KATYN 
 
Classified By: Minister-Counselor for Political Affairs Alice G. Wells 
for reasons 1.4 (b/d). 
 
1. (C) Polish President Kaczynski surprised the GOR on 
September 4 by conveying his interest in a visit to Katyn and 
Smolensk on September 17, the date the Soviet Red Army seized 
eastern Poland in 1939, and requesting a meeting with 
President Putin.  Polish Charge d'Affaires Zbigniew Rzonca 
told us President Kaczynski proposed that the two presidents 
and spouses meet in Katyn to jointly commemorate the murder 
of Polish army officers by the Soviets in 1939.  (Note: The 
Polish government-sponsored ceremony generally involves 
Russian regional officials and Ambassador-level Polish 
attendance.  End note.)  Rzonca stressed to the MFA that the 
meeting would be "constructive," a positive step in the 
Russian-Polish dialogue, with the goal of symbolizing the 
movement away from the tragic past to a better future between 
the two countries.  Rzonca clarified that Kaczynski's visit 
was not tied to any initiative to resolve specific frictions 
in the GOR-GOP relationship, including the GOR meat embargo. 
 
2. (C) As of September 6, the MFA had not categorically ruled 
out a meeting, but stressed the factors that made it 
unlikely: the date proposed seemed designed to play on 
historical animosities; the absence of any preparation; and 
Putin's full schedule.  Rzonca told us that his Russian 
counterparts did not understand what changed Poland's 
approach to bilateral affairs so drastically, contrasting it 
to the Polish foreign minister's failure to respond to FM 
Lavrov's invitation to meet in Moscow.  Presidential 
administration staff told Rzonca that Putin alone would make 
the decision on the Polish initiative. 
 
3. (C) Comment: While putting a positive spin on his 
President's proposal, Rzonca appeared braced for a Russian 
rejection.  The GOR will likely view this proposal through 
the prism of Poland's electoral cycle, and is unlikely to 
view Katyn as the appropriate backdrop for GOR-Polish 
relations. 
Burns

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