- March 25, 2014
“In the present situation, it would be difficult to celebrate the anniversary of signing the Polish-Lithuanian treaty”
There probably will be no formal celebrations aimed at commemorating the signature of the treaty between Poland and Lithuania – Tadeusz Aziewicz, a member of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, told zw.lt. Deputy Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland Cezary Grabarczyk contended that, indeed, problems separating the countries would be resolved if Lithuania passed the Law on National Minorities.
A group of Polish politicians came to Lithuania at the invitation of Jarosław Narkiewicz, the vice-president of the Seimas. They visited Šalčininkai yesterday, and today they have participated in the meeting with Speaker of the Seimas Loreta Graužinienė, the politicians of the EAPL faction, and the members of the Lithuanian-Polish parliamentary group.
After the meeting with L. Graužinienė, Deputy Marshal Grabarczyk said: “We have discussed numerous issues that connect Poland and Lithuania. Unfortunately, we have not exhausted the topic, since the meeting has not been a very long one. However, we have agreed to continue our talks later on. We have asked about the possibility of overcoming some of the obstacles in the way to the formal commemoration of the 20th anniversary of signing the Polish-Lithuanian treaty. We have been informed that the Law on National Minorities is being drafted.”
The case of Daszkiewicz
During the meetings with their Lithuanian colleagues, the Polish politicians touched upon the case of Šalčininkai District Municipality Administrative Director as well. The Lithuanian court imposed a fine of 40 thousand litas on Bolesław Daszkiewicz for not having removed signboards with Polish inscriptions from private properties. “We have also asked about the sanction imposed on Mr. Daszkiewicz. We have received some interesting information. We have spoken about this case in a broader context resulting from the events taking place in Ukraine. We have emphasized the significance of cooperation” – C. Grabarczyk said during a press conference.
One of the Lithuanian journalists asked the Polish Deputy Marshal whether – according to him – the Polish minority was discriminated against in Lithuania. “It is obvious that the Law on National Minorities has not been passed in Lithuania. Were such legal act in force, this question probably would not be asked.” – contended the politician. Later on, he added that “Other problems are not voiced.” The Deputy Marshal informed that during the meeting there were also talks concerning economic issues, among others Via Baltica and Rail Baltica.
On the other hand, deputy Tadeusz Aziewicz declared he was always glad to visit Vilnius. “Of course, during all meetings we draw attention to the rights of the Polish minority. We have reminded about the case of Bolesław Daszkiewicz. Yesterday, we talked with him in Šalčininkai. By fighting for rights which are quite common in the European Union, Mr. Daszkiewicz has placed himself in a very difficult personal situation. The problem is not solved” – the leader of the Polish-Lithuanian parliamentary group told zw.lt. “In fact, we would like to speak in connection with the events which have actually taken place. And this is all the time postponed. We count on the good will of our Lithuanian friends.” – added T. Aziewicz.
Lack of progress
According to the Polish politician, there are two contexts worth distinguishing in relations with Vilnius. On the one hand, there is the question of strategy connected with the partnership on the EU or NATO plane. On the other hand, there is the question of the Polish minority in Lithuania. “And here, it is still difficult to talk about the actual progress. We should celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing the Polish-Lithuanian treaty. However, it is difficult to do it in the situation, in which very specific commitments concerning certain problematic issues are made, but which are not satisfied.” – emphasized Tadeusz Aziewicz.
Jarosław Narkiewicz, the vice-president of the Seimas and a member of the EAPL, in his conversation with journalists stressed that the EAPL remained a political force loyal to Lithuania. He also denied the accusations of their being affiliated to Russia. “We see that there are certain political forces who are interested in making our nations antagonistic towards each other, or in causing a conflict. They belong neither to the Association of Poles in Lithuania, nor to the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania. We have seen them through and we will not let them provoke us.” – assured the member of the EAPL.
Tłumaczenie by Agata Weronika Chrobak w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Agata Weronika Chrobak within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.