The air-travel chaos was not enough to keep Dmitry Medvedev from attending the funeral of Lech Kaczynski.
Unlike other world leaders who couldn’t make it because of the disruption caused by the volcanic eruption, the Russian President did manage to fly to Poland, where he urged closer relations between the two countries.
The Russian President said: “Tragedies may result in a lot of bad blood, but in the case of Polish-Russian relations, I hope the tragedy of the Smolensk crash will bring our nations closer.”
Remembering that Kaczynski died on his way to a memorial for the Katyn massacre, Medvedev used the occasion to speak about it.
“The Katyn tragedy was a crime committed by Stalin and his collaborators” Medvedev said. “Although we have already assessed this as a crime of Stalin’s regime, we need an additional thorough investigation.”
Reconciliation over the tragedy did appear to be a step closer after both countries commemorated the massacre together for the first time in 70 years. Earlier this month, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin broke with the past and invited Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, to join him for a joint memorial ceremony in Katyn itself.