Poland is interested in allowing Russian citizens to freely visit the country, Poland’s new ambassador to Russia, Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.
“We are interested in as many Russian citizens as possible visiting Poland as often as possible. It is important to us that Russians see what type of neighbor Poland is,” Pełczyńska-Nałęcz said, adding that Warsaw was calling for the speedy establishment of a visa-free regime between Russia and the European Union.
The ambassador also recalled the signing of a local border traffic agreement between Russia and Poland in 2012 that paved the way for visa-free travel between the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad and neighboring Poland.
“Poland was very interested in local border traffic with Kalinigrad. This was a mutual initiative of the two sides, both Russia and Poland, which have done everything possible to make the lives of our citizens easier. And the results have surpassed all expectations – the border is no longer a barrier to travel,” Pełczyńska-Nałęcz stressed.
According to the envoy, many Russians have also been granted visas. In 2013, Pełczyńska-Nałęcz specified, Polish consular establishments issued 143,799 Schengen visas of one year or less, 75,545 two-year multi-entry visas, 4,993 visas valid for three years, 689 for four years and 27 five-year visas.
Pełczyńska-Nałęcz is the first woman ambassador to Russia in Poland’s history. Incumbent envoy Wojciech Zajaczkowski, who held the post since 2010, is returning to Warsaw this fall.