- February 20, 2017
Fotyga: I think it is unlikely that Poles will be ever regarded as pro-Russian
“When I was the Foreign Minister, Polish-Lithuanian cooperation was really close, very close. I had a feeling that issues of Poles in Lithuania moved in a positive direction, even though the pace could be unsatisfactory” – said MEP from the Law and Justice, chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence of the European Parliament and former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“President Lech Kaczyński often visited Lithuania, and he always met with Poles in Lithuania, which forms a kind of critical mass. We are living in different times now, dangers are more serious, and also we have 8 years of completely different directions of bilateral policy behind us. After all, measures in the field of security and defence are very positive (…) I think that if we take small steps, we will manage to overcome certain problems, including obstacles to open Polish-Lithuanian relations. I have to be very cautious, but there is still a note of optimism” – added Anna Fotyga.
“President Lech Kaczyński said that we should be real partners, that we should treat each other as equal partners – one state and one voice. He said that he could not imagine the situation in which Poles in Lithuania could be disloyal to their state, given that they were treated as equal citizens” – she noticed.
She stayed in Lithuania for two days. During her visit she also took part in a conference on hybrid dangers that was held in the Seimas of the Lithuania.
“The visit provided an opportunity to hold long and very interesting meetings with Lithuanian politicians, as well as mixed meetings with scientists in the presence of politicians. To be honest, these were less officlal meetings that lasted about 8 hours in total, but discussions were formalized to a certain extent, and notably, were very interesting – the issues concerned security and bilateral relations. Obviously, we also discussed the situation of Polish minority, or I should say, we discussed it in the first place” – said Anna Fotyga.
“I think that in the light of that strategic framework it is very unlikely that anyone will ever say that Poles are pro-Russian in the long term. Circumstances may be different. I recognize dangers related to the television controlled by Kremlin because I monitor that issue and know to what extent this beautiful and attractive image provided by the Russian media is contaminated with propaganda hidden between the lines. In a sense, this propaganda is aimed at overwhelming us and making us ignore danger. History knows examples of provocation. But I know that Poles throughout their history showed great wisdom, even in hard times, and I have every confidence that they are reasonable regardless of where they live” – emphasized Anna Fotyga, when asked about whether Poles in Lithuania may be affected by hybrid dangers.
Translated by Grzegorz Gaura within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.