Russia reject Warsaw calls to move squad

Russia has rejected calls by Polish officials seeking to move their Euro 2012 squad from a Warsaw hotel near a rallying site for rightist groups accusing Moscow of a cover-up related to a plane crash that killed Poland's president.

"We have proposed four other locations to the Russian team," said Poland's Sports Ministry spokeswoman Katarzyna Kochaniak.

Russia's national team booked one floor at the recently-renovated Bristol Hotel, one of the oldest and most prestigious in Warsaw and neighbouring the Polish presidential palace.

Rightist activists gather in front of the residence on the 10th of every month to commemorate a crash of a Polish plane in Smolensk, western Russia, on April 10, 2010, which killed all 96 onboard.

The Russian Football Association said it was not planning to change the location.

"Our team will stay in the same hotel which was originally booked. Nothing will force us to change our plans," FA spokesman Nikolai Komarov was quoted as saying by Russian media.

"We are sure that the tournament's organisers would provide all the necessary security at the highest level," he added.

The plane catastrophe continues to weigh on bilateral ties between the two Slavic neighbours as Moscow puts sole blame on the Polish pilots, while Warsaw says Russian ground controllers in Smolensk also played a role.

Warsaw also says Moscow is not showing enough goodwill to return the plane wreck, while Russia says it has to stay on its soil for as long as an investigation is going on.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the rightist Law and Justice (PiS) party and the brother of President Lech Kaczynski who died in the crash, has accused Prime Minister Donald Tusk of conniving with Moscow to cover up the truth behind the disaster.

Tusk and the Kremlin deny the claims.

Even prior to the crash, relations between Poland and Russia

have been strained over difficult joint history, energy and security disputes and emotions are expected to run high when the two A Group competitors play in the Polish capital on June 12.

"We want the event to focus on soccer emotions, while the dates of June 10 and 12 may prove tense," Kochaniak added.