• December 1, 2016
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Antonowicz: There will be no improvement of Polish-Lithuanian relations

The change of government in Lithuania probably will not bring any improvement in Polish-Lithuanian relations – claims a political scientists of the Institute of International Relation and Political Science of Vilnius University Mariusz Antonowicz.

“I do not think that there will be any changes in Polish-Lithuanian relations until 2019, as long as Dalia Grybauskaitė is the president of Lithuania. Although she wants to improve relations with Poland, she is not ready for concessions to the Polish minority in Lithuania. And without that one cannot rebuild trust between decision-makers of Warsaw and Lithuania”, says the political scientist.

Antonowicz does not have any high hopes concerning a new ruling coalition coming to power, although an appointed Prime Minister clearly announces the need for reactivating relations with Poland. Recently, as an example of compromise in resolving so-called Polish demands, the Union of Greens and Farmers proposed a record on the first page of the passport with two versions of the surname – the original version would be next to the Lithuanian record, in the registry only the Lithuanian version would figure.

“I do not think the government will achieve anything in this matter, because they do not want to do anything concerning the Polish minority. The proposed variant with two surnames on one side of the passport will not solve the problem of naming and I doubt that increased funding for Polish schools – what the coalition assumes by removing pupils’ baskets – would be enough to improve relations”, notes Antonowicz.

“Moreover, we have to remember that in the future government Ramūnas Karbauskis, who has nationalist views, will have the biggest influence. In addition, in the union of Greens and Farmers quite influential positions are held by Rima Baškienė and Eugenijus Jovaiša, who do not have any sympathy for the Polish minority. Therefore I do not see any opportunities of improvement of Polish-Lithuanian relations”, predicts Mariusz Antonowicz.

This article is a part of the project “Dialogue between nations”, which is co-financed by the Fund for the Support of the Press, Radio and Television.

Translated by Agnieszka Drabik within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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