• February 15, 2013
  • 236

Garbačiauskaitė-Budrienė: About how the ministers apologies became a turning point


Apologies of the Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius in Poland, caused a storm of emotions in Lithuania. The official, who did brave and it seems that a fruitful step, did not receive the support from the top leaders of Lithuania. Does this mean that an attempt to improve relations was only a farce? Or maybe the president and prime minister, are fearing for their own ratings in the polls, succumbed to pressure from the radicals?

The health of psychologists personality, and even the health of the community make these latter relations with the surrounding environment. Simply put, a positive assessment of a normal man himself, as well as their surroundings. Those who rate themselves better or worse than the other, are not fully normal. And certainly not mature.

Ministers Linas Linkevicius apologies infuriated conservatives, nationalists and all the other so-called. “Boosters”. On the other hand, experienced and authoritative diplomats and intellectuals on the subject disagree. “Shouters” do not delve into the fact that the Minister apologized not only for the same decision of the Parliament, as the disastrous convergence of events – but this decision was taken on the day of the visit of a Lithuania friend Lech Kaczynski. I immediately recalled the Jews to apologize Algirdas Brazauskas, allegedly without being authorized to do so, as well as other unsubstantiated apology.

It showed that we are neither normal nor mature. It shows that we judge ourselves much better than the neighbors who, after all, are bigger, more influential in Europe, richer, and just as we do not get along with Russia.

Of course, there is nothing surprising in the fact that Lithuanias wound are still after Pilsudski which are still deliberately where torn by the Soviets, aiming to decrease the power and heritage of GDL. In addition, it must be admitted that the Smolensk disaster authorities have changed in Poland, and with them also the rhetoric has changed. There is no doubt that from the point of view of Lithuania, it was quite aggressive.

In recent years the problems of the Polish minority in Lithuania made use of the politicians of both countries – starting with Radek Sikorski and Bronislaw Komorowski, who did not miss a single opportunity to ensure that the local community scammed or even threaten our officials, ending with Valdemar Tomaszewski, which the Polish community made mischief with the rest of Lithuania which was able to build his own career and even exceed 5 percent. threshold in the parliamentary elections (and as shown by the recent actions of the coalition, does not intend to stop there). Not to mention conservatives and “assimilated” their nationalist radicalism: they reaped what you sow in the bilateral relations of the two countries, and we are going to sow it for a long time.
For quite long time, the situation seemed to be tense and hopeless. Warsaw has horribly behaved Warsaw, Vilnius, however, was not her debt. Lithuania was swamped with extremely unpleasant statements of different ranks of politicians. Particularly hostile, a few years ago, Radoslaw Sikorski acted maliciously, commenting on the visit of Donald Tusk in Lithuania and not going to the top of the OSCE. Provocative rhetoric was also chosen by Bronislaw Komorowski President Advisor for Foreign Affairs Roman Kuzniar, declaring that certainly Poland disbanded Lithuanians and accused them for complexes.

The culmination was a statement of the President of the Republic that the “Lithuanian goat” will not come to the master.

After this kind of tension is not surprising that the president last year, refused to participate in a meeting held in Warsaw, Polish leaders and the Baltic countries, did not spare harsh words for Poland, and proposed a pause in the relationship and refused to participate in the celebrations of Polish Independence Day. Drowned in the bilateral relations of faux pas words, confusing all sorts of meetings of the experts who have not attained (or maybe not at all trying to achieve) constructive results and it seemed that there is no chance for quick improvement.

After the visit and apology of Linas Linkevicius the bilateral relations can talk, if not thaw, at least for the first they smiled with optimism, although the Poles still haughtily growled that they do not believe in our honest intentions. After a visit of the minister and Prime Ministers departure, who eventually went without any negative statements and was characterized by kindness, and even enthusiasm from both sides.

It should also be noted that even before the mention visit of Warsaw changed its tone: Lithuanians sat down with impression – not so long ago condemning Lithuanians Sikorski, on the occasion of 13th  January this year he mentioned on “Twitter” the Soviet attack on Vilnius and he showed solidarity with the Lithuanians, stating that on 13th January everybody should be with Lithuanians.

Realizing, as one would believe the mission agreed with the Presidential Palace with the aim of warming bilateral relations, Minister Linkevicius made ​​a noble gesture and said a few words: first apologized the Poles. You have to appreciate that he gained in the risk, detrimental and dangerous to himself, as a policy step. It was possible to predict what the apologies become very unpopular in Lithuania and the rankings (it already looks like a political reality) are the only currency policy bargaining.

Therefore, a great injustice is that the minister did not receive the support of the leaders of the country who previously gave him credit mandate and confidence, but on the contrary has been condemned by them. As soon as the storm broke discontent proceedings minister (probably trembling with its own listing in the rankings) criticized the president, shortly after the Prime Minister (also in fear of quotations in the polls and avoiding an argument with the president).

The President chose this extremely misguided arguments: said on the behalf of the State to speak to selected by the nation, not appointed officials from the top down. Strange declaration which questions the very common representation of the state by the former Prime Minister of Lithuania.

Even a law student should know that the Minister of Foreign Affairs ex officio represents the country. And in accordance with the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the Minister of Foreign Affairs can not only make a statement but even can sign international agreements.

Following the logic of the President, we should also acknowledge that Algirdas Brazauskas had no right to apologize the Jews, while four Members of the Parliament  – who infamously became known as the “four kommunars”, after the year 2003 on his own initiative, went to Belarus, praised collective farms and criticized Lukashenko Lithuania – preserved properly. It turns out that these comedians (among which among other things was the current chairman of the Parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee Bronius Bradauskas), they had the right, because they were elected, therefore, their actions reflect the official position of the Lithuanian state.

Premier was not that great. First he supported the chosen foreign minister, and before the trip to Poland a priori stated that he does not intend to repeat the steps of the foreign minister and apologize the Poles. After the return he accompanied the president. “I think that he should not have done that, because he was not authorized to do so” – “Ziniu Radijas” Butkevičius said on Thursday. However, not even half a day had passed, when he came to his senses and said that Linkevicius is a wonderful minister and believes, due to the mentioned statement he should not resign from his position.

The situation is at least strange: relations with the Polish got warmed, Donald Tusk includes the Butkevičius pleased that the bilateral relations “can and should be better than good,” and in Lithuania almost lynched an official who at the expense of his own popularity, broke the ice.

Być może warto sobie przy okazji przypomnieć stare powiedzenie, że mądrzejszy przeprasza pierwszy. I mimo to uważam – niech to zabrzmi idealistycznie – że nie powinno się w imię rankingów poświęcać rzeczy o wiele ważniejszej dla państwa i dla wszystkich jego obywateli, a mianowicie – sprawiedliwości.

It might be worth the occasion to recall the old saying that wiser apologizes first. And despite this I believe-let it sounds idealistic – although it  should not be sacrificed in the name of rankings much more important things for the country and for all its citizens,  namely-justice.

Source: http://pl.delfi.lt/opinie/opinie/garbaciauskaite-budriene-o-tym-jak-przeprosiny-ministra-staly-sie-punktem-zwrotnym.d?id=60685717

Tłumaczenie Katarzyna Dąbrowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Katarzyna Dąbrowska the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu. 


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