- October 8, 2012
Adamkus i Legutko: Relations are rather bad
Ryszard Legutko, member of the European parliament, feels positive about Polish-Lithuanian relations, especially in a matter of Polish minorities in Lithuania; whereas ex-president of RL Valdas Adamkus, as a reason of worsening Polish- Lithuanian relations blames particular people, rather than institutions.
On Friday (October, 5th) during the event dealing with Cooperation and Dialogue to the name of Jerzy Giedroyc, there took place a discussion among Valdas Adamkus and Polish deputy, Ryszard Legutko, concerning mutual relations betweenPoland andLithuania. Adamkus said that he is proud of the fact that during several years, he was able to sustain good Polish-Lithuanian relations. In his opinion at that time ,Polish-Lithuanian relations served as an example for the whole European continent.
Legutko announced that among Polish people, there is no hostility towardsLithuaniaand Lithuanians. Nevertheless, both men emphasized the fact that right now these relations are rather bad.
Adamkus: We have a big mission ahead of us
“Why and how this even happened? The values that always kept us close have not changed. Our trust towards Polandas our strategic partner has not diminished either. In the 20th century bothPoland andLithuania were locked in a Soviet concentration camp. We shouldn’t be making one right now, we shouldn’t deepen our distance. We should be reminded of the fact that both countries used to have a very important geopolitical role. We have a big, not easy mission to fulfill, which is the least but impossible”- Adamkus said.
The president regretted the fact that he was not able to conclude the matter of spelling Polish names. “ I am ashamed of myself and feel responsible to president Kaczyński and Kwaśniewski, as it makes me look like a liar. We promised. I was asked about it. I would tell them that it’s all ready in progress. Unfortunately, we are still in the same position we used to be”- Adamkus said.
Legutko: Names are not a trivial matter
He emphasized that the matter of the spelling of Polish names in any case isn’t a trivial matter. “ This issiue is not a trifling matter. What would happen if we told a Frenchman or an Italian that his name should sound different? That is why it’s not only a linguistic process but also a political one.”- Legutko assumed.
Cultural exchange vs. political matters
Both interlocutors emphasized that cultural exchange is something positive but does not have a direct influence over the politics. “Cultural exchange is of a great value in its own. I highly support it, especially in this part of Europe. Nevertheless, it does not have an influence over politics, which is very dynamic.”- Legutko emphasized.
Valdas Adamkus on the other hand replied that Lithuanian people don’t even know abort the issue of the spelling of Polish names. In his opinion, it is not politics but people, both inPolandand inLithuania, that are to blame for bad relations between both countries. “There is no hatred in the society. Only some hateful people, but they do not reflect the spirit of society.”- Adamkus indicated. He also reflected on the fact that the relations are much worse than they used to be, and a chance to make it better lies in the progress of society.
Tłumaczenie Emilia Borkowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Emilia Borkowska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.