Lithuania and Poland abandon tradition to celebrate independence together

Dalia Grybauskaitė and Bronislaw Komorowski
LRPK / Robertas Dačkus

This year, Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski did not attend the 16 February events in Vilnius. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė‘s press service said “it has been decided to invite foreign guests to jubilee evens only”.

The Presidential Office also drew attention to the fact that the two presidents had met during the commemoration of the anniversary of the Auschwitz liberation on 27 January and were also scheduled to meet for the commemoration of the Maidan anniversary in Kiev on 22 February.

“The Lithuanian president meets with Polish President Komorowski every month at international events and discusses key affairs,” the Lithuanian president’s press service told BNS on Tuesday.

Lithuanian and Polish leader have attended February 16 and November 11 independence events in the neighbouring country respectively for many years. Grybauskaitė went to Warsaw to mark the restoration of Poland‘s independence of 11 November 1918 in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. And then Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus did so in 2007 and 2008.

Polish President Komorowski would usually come to Vilnius on 16 February every year. He did so last time in 2013. His visit was being arranged last year but he eventually could not come due to an injury.

Both Lithuania’s and Poland’s President’s Offices refused to disclose to BNS on whose initiative the tradition disappeared.

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