Putin may visit site of Katyn massacre

Nov. 18, 2009 at 12:28 PM
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WARSAW, Poland, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A historian said Polish-Russian relations could be improved if Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits the site of the 1940 Katyn massacre.

Polish Radio said Wednesday the comments from Professor Inessa Yazhborovska of the Russian Academy of Sciences followed Russian media reports Putin and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk would meet in Russia's Katyn Forest.

The planned March 5 meeting would take place on the 70th anniversary of the mass execution of more than 20,000 Polish military and police officers, intellectuals and civilian prisoners of war by Soviet forces.

Yazhborovska said since the massacre remains a point of conflict between Poland and Russia, a joint tribute by the two countries could help Russia improve its foreign and domestic relations.

The Academy of Sciences official said a major roadblock to such improvements has been Russia's unwillingness to accept responsibility for the 1940 massacre ordered by then-Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin.

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