Amid Spats, Lavrov Will Visit Poland

WARSAW -- Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Warsaw on Thursday amid sharp disputes over missile defense and the Russian military offensive in Georgia.

Lavrov is due to meet Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski but not the more combative President Lech Kaczynski, who has been among the most vocal critics of Russia's policy in Georgia, flying to Tbilisi to demonstrate Poland's solidarity with the country and helping to mobilize protests in the European Union.

Tusk's government has been more measured, but its decision to host part of a U.S. missile-defense shield on Polish soil has also infuriated Moscow.

Poles view the fact that Lavrov is coming at such a time as proof that being firm with Moscow pays off and that the Kremlin has understood the need for dialogue with Poland and with Europe.