Warsaw wants extra attention for Polish minority in Lithuania, despite good relations

  • 2023-10-13
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Despite good bilateral relations, Warsaw expects more attention from Vilnius to the country's Polish minority, Polish Ambassador to Lithuania Konstanty Radziwill says.

"Today, relations between Lithuania and Poland are better than ever. The excellent relations between Lithuania and Poland are not a subject of controversy or debate between different political groups in Lithuania and Poland," the diplomat told reporters on Friday.

Lithuania and Poland work closely both on various bilateral projects, as well as in international formats on security issues and EU enlargement, he said.

"In this atmosphere, it is worth looking at other issues that are not yet part of this dynamic and well-developing relationship. In my opinion, the only area where we still have unresolved problems is the situation of the Polish minority, although there is progress here as well," the ambassador pointed out.

Radziwill hopes that Lithuania will resolve the issue of allowing dual Lithuanian and Polish place names in areas with large Polish populations, and will also legalize the use of diacritical marks in documents, and make it possible to take the state Polish language exam.

"We are following the ongoing discussions on teacher workload and class sizes, but regardless of the outcome of these discussions, we would like to see an exclusive criterion for national minority schools to emphasize that they are national minority schools," the diplomat said. "We would like to forget about the threat of schools being closed."

The diplomat pointed out to the fact that Lithuania had ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, but has not yet adopted a law on national minorities.

The Polish ambassador expressed Poland's expectations as Vilnius and Warsaw are set to mark the anniversary of the Mutual Pledge of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations next week. This is an important historic bilateral document that complemented the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations of May 3, considered the first constitution in Europe.

It was adopted by the Four-Year Sejm of the Commonwealth of the Two Nations on May 3, 1791. The Mutual Pledge was adopted a little later, October 20.

Radziwill hopes that the close relations between the two countries will not be affected by the results of the general election to be held in Poland on Sunday or the Seimas election to be held in Lithuania next year.