“We increased the demands from our basketball players too much. But I’m sure that this sport will maintain its status as the Lithuania’s national discipline,” thus the head of the Lithuanian MSZ Linas Linkevičius commented in the “Salon Polityczny” radio programme on yesterday’s failure of the Lithuanian basketball team at the Olympic Games in Rio.
According to Linkevičius, it is a mistake to dedicate the biggest number of funds to one sports discipline. “We must build stadiums, swimming pools, and achieve better balance in the sports development policy, as it’s part of our country’s image,” said the minister.
The guest of “Salon Polityczny” referred to the corruption scandal centred on Jonas Milius, the head of the State Food and Veterinary Service. “No doubt our government will have enough determination to dismiss Milius from the function of the organisation’s director, but we have to act in compliance with the law,” stressed Linkevičius. As he added, the scandal with Milius would not have to affect the export of Lithuanian foodstuffs negatively. “We have a good reputation and won’t let what we’ve acquired for many years be destroyed,” the politician stated.
In the interview Linkevičius raised the issue of the relations between Poland and Lithuania. “The strategic projects are already in progress; traditionally we haven’t done homework regarding the bilateral relations, but it’s not that nothing is happening. Presidents of both countries talk at official meetings, like for instance the NATO summit in Warsaw,” the minister informed. He added that the cooperation with the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MSZ) Witold Waszczykowski worked well. “We meet frequently with my Polish fellow; now we’re going to meet in Bratislava, where we’ll talk for sure. Not only the talks are important, but also the results […] Lithuania should catch up with adopting some acts that are in the Seimas,” the diplomat pointed out, assuring the Polish-Lithuanian relations are not “as bad as some may claim.”
Linkevičius informed that in the nearest future Lithuania was going to be visited by the former president of Poland Bronisław Komorowski.
Tłumaczenie by Karolina Katarzyńska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Karolina Katarzyńska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.