Lithuania annoyed by lack of invitation to Kaliningrad

  • 2005-06-23
VILNIUS - Lithuanian officials have expressed surprise and disappointment at having not been invited by Moscow to the anniversary celebrations in Kaliningrad in the beginning of July.

Neither Poland nor Lithuania have received invitations to take part in the 750 anniversary celebrations of the city of Kaliningrad, formerly Konigsberg, and part of the area still known to many as "little Lithuania."

"If Germany's Chancellor Gerhard Schroder and Russia's President Vladimir Putin are indeed attending the festivities in Kaliningrad without the participation of the immediate neighbors and will be inaugurated honorary doctors of the Kaliningrad University, that will be a significant mark in the Moscow-Berlin relationship," Foreign Minister Antanas Valionis told the Baltic News Service.

"A situation like that can hardly be amended by inviting the leaders of the neighboring states now with only a few weeks to the event," he added.

The foreign minister was equally surprised by Germany's behavior as Russia's. "We are demonstrating immense goodwill in dealings with German diplomats, working on a basis of mutual understanding, although sometimes it may seem that some of the actions of the German political authorities do not fully take account of the historical and political tender spots of our region."

Raimundas Lopata, director of the Institute of International Relations and Political Sciences of the Vilnius University, said he obvious display of disregard towards Lithuania and Poland is part of the Kremlin's attempts to play the Kaliningrad card to realize its political goals.