Polish Plane Crash: What Happened in the Cockpit?

The two PMs were both eager to make sure the tragedy does nothing to extend decades of animosity between their nations.

Tusk said condolences were pouring in from around the world but noted that "the first came from Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev."

In spite of widespread grief on Polish streets after Saturday's disaster, few predict a national breakdown after 20 years of Democratic rule.

Journalist Says Polish-Soviet Ties Could Improve After Recent Tragedy

"Poland has strong institutions," says Jerzy Pomianowski, a prominent expert on Polish politics and Russo-Polish relations. "It is the most resilient country in Europe's post-communist sphere."

In an ironic twist, Polish journalist Kurczab-Redlich says that the tragic loss of Kaczynski, seen as a Polish nationalist, is likely to improve the country's political prospects with Russia.

"The value of this tragedy is that both sides will recognize this moment as an opportunity to move ahead. It's a great opportunity for both Russia and Poland to go beyond the rapprochement that existed yesterday,". Kurczab-Redlich said in a telephone interview from Warsaw. "And the outpouring of sympathy from Russians about what happened is sincere and may actually help."

Dragana Jovanovic is an ABC News reporter living in Belgrade, Serbia. Since 1992, she covered the breakup of former Yugoslavia, the war in Chechnia, and other current events in Central and Easter Europe for ABC News. She grew up in Poland and Soviet Union during the Communist era.

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