Warsaw: The Polish government on Thursday announced that it has cancelled plans for celebrating Poland Year in Russia and Russia Year in Poland, a cultural project planned for 2015.
"The decision was taken by the government but both Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski and Culture Minister Malgorzata Omilanowska agreed that in the light of the current political situation and of what was going on in Ukraine, when a (Malaysia Airlines) plane was shot down, it would be impossible to hold Poland Year in Russia," Xinhua quoted government spokesperson Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska as saying.
According to Kidawa-Blonska, culture should unite audience and artists. "There must be a good atmosphere which can build unity."
"We are not happy that such things happen, but from the beginning we reserved the right to postpone Poland Year in Russia if the situation in Ukraine and around Ukraine escalated," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marcin Wojciechowski said on Thursday.
He added that he was sorry things had escalated and that "Poland in a way had been forced to take this decision."
The Russian ambassador to Poland was informed of the decision on Thursday.
The Russian government has voiced its regret over the Polish authorities` decision to cancel the cultural activity, media report said.
The Poland Year in Russia and Russia Year in Poland project was planned for 2015 to enable Poles and Russians to present their biggest economic, scientific and cultural achievements.
Polish and Russian foreign ministers in 2013 signed a joint declaration on the `2020 Programme in Polish-Russian Relations` in Warsaw . The two sides also signed an agreement on Poland Year in Russia and Russia Year in Poland in 2015.