Lithuania-Poland relations develop in good direction – Polish deputy foreign minister

“I have the impression that there are often too many emotions on both sides. I can say that the Law and Justice government, particularly the Cabinet of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, has found excellent partners in the current Lithuanian government. We regard the developing relations between Poland and Lithuania as very good,” he told reporters in Vilnius on Saturday.

Although part of the problems faced by the Polish minority in the region of Vilnius are being dealt with, it is difficult to solve all of them because new issues keep coming up, the Polish official said.

The vice-minister, who attended a back-to-school event at the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius, said that Lithuania is a friendly country and a close neighbor of Poland and that the two countries share “many regional and European policy concerns, especially in security”.

“As to very practical issues, such as (Polish Education Minister Anna) Zalewska’s visit and education, I make no secret of the fact that in my conversations with the Lithuanian prime minister, I emphasized that Poland’s current politics would make efforts and would direct resources and actions toward ensuring that Poles in Lithuania become, not only declaratively, a very important element of the statehood of Lithuania,” he said.

“The minister stressed the essential points — it is necessary to have a perfect command of the language to ensure that Poles live full-fledge lives in the Republic of Lithuania.”

The Polish official said that Warsaw is categorically opposed to any signs of or support to Soviet ideology.

“We cannot tolerate and we will not encourage continued existence of some relicts of the Soviet times, such as some bows or good feelings toward Soviet tradition and historiography,” Papierz said.

“In Poland, we have also given an objective and unambiguous assessment of the period of criminal communist rule. If such elements emerge, especially among Poles in Lithuania, this is completely incomprehensible to us. No serious relations with the independent state of Lithuania can be based on such things,” he added.

Leaders of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania–Christian Families Alliance (LLRA-KŠS) have repeatedly taken part in May 9 celebrations of Soviet victory in World War Two in Vilnius.

In one of such events, Valdemar Tomaševski, the LLRA-KŠS leader, was seen wearing an orange-and-black St George’s ribbon, a symbol now used by Russia-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

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