Just in: Poland cancels Russian culture year

The Polish government has cancelled all cultural exchanges with Russia for next year.

‘The Council of Ministers decided to call off the Polish Year in Russia and the Russian Year in Poland, planned for 2015,’ said government spokesperson Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska. ‘This is the decision of the government, but both the foreign and culture ministers – Radoslaw Sikorski and Malgorzata Omilanowska respectively – unequivocally came to the conclusion that in [this] situation [after the MH167 disaster], it is impossible to follow through […] with the organisation of the Polish Year in Russia.’

The cultural cooperation agreement was signed only last December.

 

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    • Shame on you, rather, for repeating outworn stereotypes. I think you’ve made your position clear: the downing of MH17 was a global conspiracy against Russia.

  • Given Polish suffering under imperial Russian and then Soviet domination for centuries, this decision hardly comes as a surprise. It is principled and is to be commended. While the world’s focus has been on options for Government-led sanctions against the Putin autocracy, individual visitors have been voting with their feet and cancelling Russian bookings in droves. I am aware that a number of Russian travel companies have collapsed or are on the brink since the annexation of Crimea and the conflict with Ukraine. The tragedy is that many Russians (including brilliant artists), who have benefited greatly from the normalisation of relations with the west since the collapse of the Soviet Union, will pay the price for their government’s neo-imperial ambitions. Who can speak for them in the Russian media and political system?

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