New Polish Ambassador in Russia

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

“Poland and Russia should elevate their relations to a new level and all problems can be solved with mutual respect and pragmatism,” said Vladimir Putin, accepting the credentials from the ambassador of the Republic of Poland, Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, on 19 November. Pełczyńska-Nałęcz later told Polish correspondents in Moscow that her short conversation with Putin after the ceremony was pure courtesy. She also noted that the event took place at a time when there are difficult relations between Russia and the West. Consequently, the soured atmosphere between Russia and the European Union translates into strained Russian-Polish relations. “Problems between the West and Russia – as these are not our bilateral problems – are so profound that in order to solve them serious strategic dialogue is required from the West, the EU and Russia. Poland should participate in this dialogue and does so, making a contribution to the process,” said the ambassador. She expressed her hope that Poland and Russia would seek ways to conduct constructive dialogue. “Our particular concern in this challenging situation is to maintain as intensive contact as possible between the Polish and Russian people. That includes cultural contact,” she declared. Along with the Polish ambassador, new heads of diplomatic missions of 14 other countries, including John F. Tefft from the US, presented their credentials to Putin. The Russian president had a short conversation with each of them. Addressing the US ambassador, the Russian president said that Russia was ready to cooperate with the US on condition that such collaboration be based on mutual respect and a principle of non-interference in internal affairs. Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Yuri Uskakov, the president’s foreign policy advisor, also participated in the ceremony, which was held in the Alexandrov Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. Putin is not in the habit of receiving separately every ambassador that begin work in Russia. He usually accepts credentials from a dozen or so ambassadors at a time and such ceremonies are held once a few months. The previous took place on 27 June with 13 new ambassadors. Prior to assuming this post, Pełczyńska-Nałęcz was deputy minister of foreign affairs responsible for matters related to the Polish community abroad, development cooperation and eastern relations. Previously, she worked at the Centre for Eastern Studies as the head of the Russian department and deputy director. In 2009-2010 she sat on the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum and in 2008-2012 was a member of the Polish-Russian Group for Difficult Matters. She is the author of numerous publications, including ones on transformation in Russia.

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