Lithuanian president draws diplomats' attention to attempts to manipulate history

  • 2020-02-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - Lithuania's three key foreign policy priorities are reducing divisions in the world, seeking global partners and developing soft power, President Gitanas Nauseda told foreign ambassadors accredited to Vilnius on Monday. 

Nauseda also underlined the need for standing up to attempts to falsify the history of Lithuania and the other Baltic countries. 

"We will also have to rebuff any attempts by unfriendly forces to fabricate the history of Lithuania and the other Baltic states. We are ready to critically and fairly evaluate our past, but we will not tolerate the attempts of some countries to spread false narratives," the president said at the annual meeting with the foreign diplomatic corps. 

"I deeply regret that history continues to be used for political gains and that efforts are made to get international organizations, such as the Council of Europe, involved. I therefore call for a common effort to resist manipulation so that nobody can falsify history," he added. 

The Baltic countries and Poland have in recent years voiced concern at Russia's efforts to defend the 1939 Soviet-German non-aggression treaty which helped pave the way for World War II.     

In protest, the Lithuanian and Polish presidents last month refused to attend a major Holocaust commemoration event in Jerusalem where Russian President Vladimir Putin was invited to deliver a key speech.   

On Monday, Nauseda also said that Lithuania had to take a more active role in preventing "uncontrolled migration, unrestrained deterioration of the environmental situation and the divisive emergence of irreconcilable, competing geopolitical and economic blocs in the world".

"We continue to see Western countries who share common values as the most reliable guarantor of international order. We must maintain the unity and resolve of democratic nations as a counter-balance to any attempt to violate international law or multiply military threats in our neighborhood and around the world," he said.

According to Nauseda, Lithuania "is and will continue to be a supporter of a strong transatlantic union because we see it as the cornerstone of Western strength".

"On the other hand, orientation to the West should not curb our dreams and ambitions. Therefore, in the future, Lithuania’s foreign policy will be strongly focused on economic diplomacy and new avenues, first and foremost, in economic cooperation. I am delighted that Lithuanian business people have started to discover Asian, African and Middle East markets," he said. 

The president named developing soft power as "the third immediate task for Lithuania’s foreign policy".  

"Firstly, it means strengthening the positive image of the Republic of Lithuania around the world," he said. 

The ambassadors and chargés d'affaires of 69 foreign countries, and representatives of international organizations attended Monday's meeting with Nauseda at the Presidential Palace.