MOSCOW (Reuters) - The plane crash which killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski on Russian soil in 2010 should not be used to whip up tensions between the two countries, President Vladimir Putin said at his end-of-year news conference on Friday.

The crash near Smolensk in western Russia, which killed 96 people including Kaczynski's wife, top army brass and the central bank governor, has become one of the most fraught public issues in Poland.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova, Vladimir Soldatkin and Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Andrew Osborn)