WARSAW, Poland — The Polish government has canceled plans for a year of cultural celebrations with Russia out of anger with Russian actions in Ukraine.
The Foreign Ministry said Thursday that it summoned the Russian ambassador to inform him of the decision.
Poland and Russia had planned to make 2015 the "Year of Poland in Russia" and "Year of Russia in Poland," with hundreds of events in each country celebrating the other's culture. The events and exchanges, in the areas of art, science and the economy, were meant to improve ties between the countries following years of tensions.
But government spokeswoman Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska said earlier that such celebrations are impossible after the Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down in eastern Ukraine last week.
Poland has firmly condemned Russia's annexation of Crimea and accuses it of arming the pro-Russia separatists who allegedly shot down the passenger plane, killing all 298 people on board.
Many cultural figures in Poland supported the news but others, such as Oscar-winning director Andrzej Wajda, said it made no sense to cut dialogue between the two peoples due to political difficulties.
In Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Russia had not yet received official notification of Poland's plans and did not expect to cancel any events.
"From our side, we consider, as before, strengthening cultural-humanitarian connections between our countries to be important and we are not intending to refuse to conduct in Poland traditional festivals, exhibitions and other projects that have called forth great interest among the Polish public," Lukashevich said.