Poland Year in Russia and Russia Year in Poland, a project planned for 2015, has been cancelled, Polish government spokesperson Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska said on Thursday.
"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," Kidawa-Blonska said.
According to Kidawa-Blonska, culture should unite audience and artists. "There must be a good atmosphere which can build unity," adding that this was impossible in the current situation.
"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 Spokesman 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 Radoslaw Sikorski and Sergei Lavrov signed a joint declaration on the "2020 Programme in Polish-Russian Relations" in Warsaw on Dec. 19, 2013. On the same day the two sides signed an agreement on Poland Year in Russia and Russia Year in Poland in 2015.