• January 14, 2014
  • 211

Poland and Lithuania will review the mutual Friendship Treaty

© Fot. Marian Paluszkiewicz

Polish and Lithuanian politicians will verify which of the mutual Friendship Treaty provisions have not been fulfilled yet. The Treaty will be revised during a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Sejm and Senate of the Republic of Poland and the Seimas of the Lithuanian Republic scheduled on April 2014.

It was yesterday, on 14th January, on the presidium meeting in Lithuanian Seimas, when the dates of those April meetings had been set. The session was chaired by Gediminas Kirkilas, the co-chair of the Polish-Lithuanian Parliamentary Assembly, the co-chair of Lithuanian Parliament and by Eugeniusz Grzeszczak, the Deputy Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland. According to Kirkilas, the most important issue of the debates in April will be the revision of the fulfillment of provisions of the Polish-Lithuanian Treaty which was signed in 1994 by Lech Wałęsa and Algirdas Brazauskasthe, the presidents of these countries.

Lithuania does not have any objections to the implementation of the Treaty provisions done by Poland. However, Poland has been now pointing out for years that Lithuania is not fulfilling the Treaty concerning Polish minority rights in Lithuania. Lithuania has no regrets, though, about which Dalia Grybauskaitė, the President, was talking during the summary of Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Strasbourg. Answering the criticism of Valdemar Tomaševski, the Member of European Parliament, she stated that Lithuania has fulfilled all international resolutions in case of ethnic minorities rights.

Nevertheless, politicians in Warsaw have another opinion about this situation. Almost 6 years ago due to a failure in implementing Treaty provisions, Poland suspended a work of bilateral assembly. A few years have pasted until there was a change in ruling coalition in Lithuania which declared its support to Polish minority claims. It was then that these works had been resumed. The first Assembly presidium meeting after such a long break was held in March 2013. The meeting of the Assembly itself took place on 3rd May in Warsaw.  Gediminas Kirkilas, the co-chair of Seimas, remained optimistic after the yesterday’s meeting (16th January) with Polish delegation. He said that Lithuania has fulfilled almost every of all 70 provisions of the Treaty.

Eugeniusz Grzeszczak, the leader of Polish delegation was less optimistic, though. In the interview for Radio Znad Wilii he said that the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty is a good time to summarize its implementation. He added that the Assembly meeting should have taken place only when Lithuania would fulfill all points.

The subject of severe penalties for using Polish language in Vilnius region was also raised during the meeting on Tuesday. As we have written before, Lithuanian court fined Boleslav Daškevič, the Director of the Administration of Šalčininkai district for unremoved street signs placed on private houses. He is supposed to pay 43 thousand of litas. Polish delegation was surprised with the severity of this penalty.
Polish delegation together with Eugeniusz Grzeszczak, the Deputy Marshal of the Sejm was in Vilnius on the occasion of the 23rd anniversary of the January events.

Source: http://kurierwilenski.lt/2014/01/14/polska-i-litwa-zrewiduja-traktat-dwustronny/

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

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