“I do not believe that relations with Poland need normalising. They were normalised in 1994 with the signing of the Good Neighbourhood and Cooperation Agreement between Lithuania and Latvia. Key issues were settled back then,” reminds Antanovič, of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science.
He says the Polish-Lithuanian relations underwent three main stages over the last 25 years. The first stage was one of both Lithuania and Poland seeking NATO and EU membership. Poland joined NATO earlier and its help proved to be very important for all the Baltic states. This period was marked by close cooperation and great effort to establish a positive reputation for Lithuania in the West, to have as few misunderstandings and confrontations as possible.
The second stage began following Lithuania’s accession to NATO and the EU. “It was a period of strategic partnership. Truly there was much work done together, a lot of coordination in foreign and security policies, in transatlantic organisations,” the VU lecturer said.
The current third stage is best described as “Cold Peace”, he says. “Politicians, especially at the top, no longer interact and relations are only maintained to the smallest necessary extent.”
“When everything is fine, everything is fine, but when a problem arises, it becomes clear it is not getting resolved,” according to Antanovič.