Poland’s Komorowski to visit Katyn massacre site via Moscow

Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski on April 11 will stop over in Moscow en route to the Katyn commemorative site, where he has been invited by his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, Komorowski’s press service said on Friday.

“The president [Komorowski] will…land at Vnukovo Airport and then head for Smolensk in a convoy,” Komorowki’s press service said.

Medvedev and Komorowski will meet in Smolensk and then visit commemorative ceremonies dedicated to the 71st anniversary of the Katyn massacre.

Ties between Russia and Poland, which had been hampered for decades over a range of historical disputes, have improved since the two sides were drawn together in grief after April 10, 2010 Tu-154 plane crash near Russia’s western city of Smolensk that killed Polish then-President Lech Kaczynski.

“The Smolensk tragedy happened because the Polish president [Kaczynski] and many other Poles hurried to arrive in Katyn to honor the memory of the victims of Katyn massacre,” Komorowski’s advisor Tomash Nalench said.

“But those ceremonies were eclipsed by the shock and no one ever recalled them since April 10th,” Nalench said.

According to official data, over 20,000 Polish officers were killed in 1940 by the NKVD – the Soviet secret police. The executions took place in various parts of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. The largest massacre occurred in the Katyn forest near Smolensk.

In November 2010, deputies from the lower house of Russia’s parliament approved a declaration recognizing the Katyn massacre as a crime committed by Joseph Stalin’s regime.

On Thursday, The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office handed over to 11 volumes of declassified Katyn massacre documents to Poland.

WARSAW, April 8 (RIA Novosti)

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