Lithuanian parliament speaker arrives in Warsaw

Viktoras Pranckietis
DELFI / Domantas Pipas

The visit comes amid warming relations between Vilnius and Warsaw, which had been strained in recent years by disagreements over the situation of the Polish ethnic minority in Lithuania.

“My goal is to ensure that people of all nationalities, including Poles, are comfortable in Lithuania being what they are and that they do not have to think that someone is trying to change them, Pranckietis told BNS.

The speaker plans to pay great attention to the situation of the Polish community in Lithuania during his meetings with Poland’s politicians and in his speech to the parliament, in which he will also draw attention to the situation of Lithuanians living in the neighboring country.

Other issues to be discussed with Polish politicians include the security situation and joint projects, such as the European-gauge railway Rail Baltica or the planned synchronization of the Baltic power grids with the western European system.

Before leaving for Warsaw, Pranckietis called on the Seimas to pass during its upcoming spring session a bill that would allow the original spelling of the first and last names of a Lithuanian national on the main page of his or her passport if the person provides a source proving the non-Lithuanian version of the name.

“If it were up to me, this issue would have been solved a long time ago,” he said.

Marek Kuchcinski, the Marshal of the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament, visited Lithuania last September and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is expected to come to Vilnius in March.

The Lithuanian delegation led by Pranckietis was scheduled to have a working lunch with Kuchcinski and other leaders of the Sejm on Wednesday afternoon before attending the opening of an office of the state-owned railway company Lietuvos Geležinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) and a solemn event marking the centenary of Lithuania’s restored statehood at the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall in the evening.

Pranckietis is to deliver his speech at the Polish parliament on Thursday morning. He will be the third speaker of the Lithuanian parliament to do so after Česlovas Juršėnas in 1993 and Vytautas Landsbergis in 1997.

The speaker of the Seimas will later in the day meet with Stanislaw Karczewski, the speaker of the Senate, the upper house of the Polish parliament, and will have lunch with members of the Polish Sejm before leaving for Vilnius.

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