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POLAND SEEKS TO DIVERSIFY ENERGY SUPPLIES AWAY FROM RUSSIA... Polish President Lech Kaczynski told the Moscow-based daily "Kommersant" of April 21 that his country intends to diversify its gas supplies in the wake of the recent Ukrainian gas crisis and the German-Russian agreement to build the North European Gas Pipeline under the Baltic Sea, bypassing Poland (see "RFE/RL Newsline," March 30 and 31, and April 3, 2006, and End Note, "RFE/RL Newsline," January 17, 2006). "Diversification of gas supplies is a future goal for Poland. We believe that this wish should be understood especially correctly in Russia that is striving for diversification of the transit routes for its raw materials, he said." Kaczynski stressed that "the problem of routes for gas transportation from Russia should be discussed by all interested parties, especially since Poland and Russia are connected by bilateral agreements in this area. I ask you not to be surprised that Poland has felt excluded from developing a long-term plan for construction of the Russian-European transit infrastructure." PM
...AND FINDS U.S. MISSILE DEFENSE 'INTERESTING.' In his interview with the daily "Kommersant" of April 21, Polish President Kaczynski said that his country finds the possible deployment of parts of the planned U.S. missile-defense system on Polish territory "interesting." He said that "Poland has not yet made a decision on joining the missile defense system. However, I consider this program interesting. It will allow avoidance of a situation when a weak and irresponsible state can possibly blackmail us and our allies with use of weapons of mass destruction." Regarding possible NATO enlargement, Kaczynski noted that "it's no secret that Poland supports the intention of Ukraine and Georgia to join NATO.... But everything depends on Ukraine and Georgia [themselves].... From our experience we know that decisiveness can eliminate resistance from outside." He added that a meeting of heads of states in international relations "is form, not content," that could nonetheless lead to an improvement in bilateral ties. To that end, Kaczynski said that he does not "rule out" such a meeting between himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin, perhaps "this fall." PM
UKRAINIAN MINISTER SAYS CIS IS 'INEFFECTIVE.' Ukrainian Foreign Minister Borys Tarasyuk told journalists in Moscow on April 21 that the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is an "ineffective" organization, Interfax reported. Tarasyuk was speaking after a meeting of foreign ministers of the 12-member post-Soviet bloc. Tarasyuk said three delegations at the meeting raised the problem of "trade wars" within the CIS but the issue was not included on the agenda. "This shows that the CIS does not react to situations that are sensitive to CIS member states, for example, the [Russian] ban on importing wines from three CIS countries, Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia," Tarasyuk said. The CIS ministers also declined to put on their agenda a Ukrainian request to recognize the 1932-33 man-made famine in Ukraine as genocide. Tarasyuk said the request was rejected by Russia and four other nations (Belarus, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan), while Georgia, Moldova, and Azerbaijan supported it. The others -- Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan -- abstained. JM
HOMEMADE BOMBS INJURE 14 AT TWO UKRAINIAN SUPERMARKETS. Two homemade bombs exploded at two supermarkets in Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, on April 22, injuring 14 people, Ukrainian and world news agencies reported. Police sources said initial indications suggest the blasts were linked to a settling of scores between businesses. Doctors said there were no serious injuries in the blasts, which occurred within minutes around noon in the two suburban supermarkets situated some 1 kilometer apart. JM