Paulauskas: Stalin monument in Moscow jeopardizes Adamkus' visit

  • 2005-01-19
  • By The Baltic Times
VILNIUS 's Parliamentary Speaker Arturas Paulauskas said that President Valdas Adamkus should not go to Moscow to mark the victory over Nazi Germany if Russia's plans to unveil a monument to Joseph Stalin proved bore themselves out prior to May 9.

"If the recent news about plans to unveil a monument to Stalin in Moscow on May 9 proved true, my decision would be clear - not to go," Paulauskas said in an interview to Lithuania's national radio on Friday. "To participate in the unveiling of a monument to the person who caused so much harm to Lithuania, to people, who headed the country that occupied Lithuania and exiled Lithuanians would mean to pay tribute to a butcher."

Ambassador to Russia Rimantas Sidlauskas this week asked the Russian Foreign Ministry for an official explanation as to whether a monument to Stalin was really planned to be unveiled in Moscow on May 9.

The scandal erupted after reports filtered out of Moscow about plans to build a monument to the Allied leaders 's Stalin, Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt 's in Moscow. Later it was reported that a memorial picturing four nameless soldiers, but not the three anti-Hitler coalition leaders, would be unveiled on the occasion of V-Day.

Paulauskas also said that even if the report about a monument to Stalin turned out to be false, one should not forget that May 9 "was not a festive day for Lithuania," as it was followed by the half-century occupation of the country. "So it is not a jubilant day… It is not a jubilant day for our country, and these circumstances should be taken into consideration when making a decision," he said.