Lietuva in brief - 2010-11-04

  • 2010-11-03

ithuania and Poland on Oct. 29 attempted to defuse a row over language rights of the Polish minority in Lithuania, reports AFP. Lithuanian citizens of Polish origin want the spelling of their names to be allowed in the original Polish in official documents. Lithuanian law only allows the use of the differing Lithuanian alphabet. Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk vowed to continue backing the ethnic Poles in Lithuania, saying “We will not back down… but we will also not want to use too brutal and brazen forms of pressure to convince Lithuanians that European standards on minorities must be respected,” Tusk said. Lithuanian foreign deputy minister Egidijus Meilunas agreed that “There is an open row, but it is natural that partners may have different interpretations and opinions.” Meilunas said that Lithuania may give the final answer on the controversial issue at the beginning of next year.

A project by Russian and central European historians called “Sound Archives of the Gulag,” recordings of the stories of scores of deportees, will be available online in March, said organizers, reports LETA. The project has gathered some 160 accounts by people of their sorrowful experience of being deported to the gulag, the penal labor camps in the former Soviet Union, the coordinator Marta Craveri said. The accounts are mainly from Poles, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians and other nationalities of Eastern Europe. “A million Europeans were deported to the gulag by the Soviets. It is a past that has for a long time been concealed behind the Iron Curtain and it is still little known” by much of Western Europe, added Craveri. The project was put together by the Center for the study of the Russian, Caucasian and Central European world in partnership with Radio France Internationale.