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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin and Kwasniewski Criticize Street Attacks

President Vladimir Putin talked with his Polish counterpart, Aleksandr Kwasniewski, by telephone Friday after the beating of a Polish journalist -- the third attack on Polish citizens in Moscow, including a diplomat, in five days.

Kwasniewski contacted Putin late Thursday after Pawel Reszka, correspondent for Poland's leading Rzeczpospolita daily, was beaten Thursday evening in central Moscow, and expressed concern that the attacks in Moscow were "leading to a harmful escalation of hostility."

Kwasniewski's office said that Putin also "strongly criticized the radical actions and hooligan acts which took place in Russia and Poland."

The attack on Reszka came after the beating of the Polish Embassy's second secretary on Wednesday, and the Aug. 7 beating of a telephone technician working at the embassy.

On Saturday, following a meeting between Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Valery Loshchinin and Polish Ambassador Stefan Meller, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it hoped that anti-Russian sentiment in Poland would be quelled to avoid "an atmosphere in which all sorts of criminal high jinks become possible, similar to those in Warsaw and Moscow."

"We are not satisfied with the current state of Russian-Polish relations," the ministry said in a statement posted on its web site.

Both countries said that Putin and Kwasniewski expressed a desire to defuse the crisis that began with the July 31 beating of three teenage sons of Russian diplomats in a Warsaw park.

Reszka left his office on Kutuzovsky Prospekt at around 8 p.m. Thursday to buy cigarettes in an underpass near the Ukraina Hotel. He said by telephone Friday that he was attacked by four or five assailants, who punched him then kicked him after he fell to the ground, in an attack similar to the other incidents.

Second Secretary Marek Reszuta was attacked from behind by an unidentified assailant at about 1 p.m. Wednesday on Tishinskaya Ploshchad, a short walk from the embassy at 4 Ulitsa Klimashkina.

On Aug. 7, two men beat telephone technician Andrzej Uriadko about 60 meters from the embassy. Both Reszuta and Uriadko were admitted to the Botkin hospital and were released Friday, said a Polish Embassy official, who asked not to be named.

Reszka said he was recovering at home Friday after spending the night in the Botkin hospital. "I have bruises all over, but luckily there were no serious injuries to my head or internal organs," he said.

A statement posted on Kwasniewski's web site Friday said that Putin promised during the telephone call to "undertake all necessary steps in order to find and punish the perpetrators of the attacks on Polish citizens."

A senior officer in the Warsaw city police said two suspects had been detained in the Warsaw park attack on suspicion of receiving stolen goods, The Associated Press reported.

Warsaw police had arrested one of the suspected assailants in the attack, Meller said Saturday in televised comments.

The Polish Embassy has said it believes a single group to behind the attacks, and Reszka said Friday that before he entered the underpass, he saw a man sitting in a light blue Mercedes talking on a cell phone.

Reszka said his attack was "exactly like" the attack on Reszuta, the diplomat. "He said he saw someone talking on a cell phone shortly before he was attacked. One of the men who attacked me looked very similar to the man in the Mercedes."

Reszka said the four or five assailants were of Slavic appearance and about 30 years old, and that they attacked him "in a very professional manner" without saying a word.