- March 26, 2018
VSD on Lithuanian Poles: The situation has improved
The situation has improved, therefore representatives of the Polish minority in Lithuania have not been listed in the report on threats to national security – said the head of the State Security Department (VSD) Darius Jauniškis.
Photo Roman Niedźwiedzki
During the press conference in the Parliament (the Sejm) the question was raised: Why there is nothing about the connections between representatives of the Polish minority and the Russian embassy at stake? “This means that the situation has improved,” said Jauniškis.
Then supplementary question was asked: Does this mean that there are no such connections, or simply the relations are not strict? “That means they are not strict” – it was emphasized vy the head of the VSD.
Last year’s report of VSD
In the past year, a passage appeared in the report that caused great controversy: “If exceptional rights were granted to the Polish community, this would give Russia and its groups the right to demand the same rights and, finally, an exceptional status for Russian communities in all the Baltic countries.”
The authors of the report argued that Russia is attempting to escalate the national strife with the use of national communities on the territory of Lithuania.
“Russia, striving to increase its influence in the post-soviet space, implements the National Coordination Council of Russian Diaspora (compatriots). The policy of the National Coordination Council of Russian Diaspora differs from the usual view of democratic authorities on compatriots living abroad. The status of members of the National Coordination Council of Russian Diaspora does not mean ethnic belonging to the Russian people, but above all, loyalty to the current Kremlin regime. In the Baltic countries, Russia considers not only Russians but also loyal Russian-speaking representatives of Belarusian, Polish, Tatar, Ukrainian, Jewish and other nationalities “- it was found in last year’s report.
The authors note that Russia is seeking to increase its influence in the Tatar community in Lithuania. “It is beneficial for Russia that the Tatar communities abroad should be represented by people who support the Russian annexation of Crimea,” it was mentioned in the document. The Lithuanian intelligence revealed that some Lithuanian Tatars are actively involved in the Russian policy of the National Coordination Council of Russian Diaspora.
“Russia is striving to make the constant demands for granting of exceptional rights of the Polish community in the Vilnius region as the part of the of the National Coordination Council of Russian Diaspora policy. If exceptional rights were granted to the Polish community, it would constitute a pretext for Russia to demand the same rights and, finally, an exceptional status for Russian communities in all Baltic countries, “the report said.
“These aspirations of Russia are confirmed and coordinated by the Embassy of Russia in Vilnius, the political cooperation of the Prussians with people representing the Polish community in the Vilnius region,” it was emphasized in the report.
The intelligence services emphasized that one of the ways of escalating tension in the Baltic states is “to permanently and unjustifiably accuse them of violating the rights of national minorities”.
“The aim of the policy of the National Coordination Council of Russian Diaspora in Baltic Sea countries is to shape a favorable environment for spreading Russia’s influence and to weaken the social integrity of these countries by fomenting ethnic dissent. It is easier to conduct such activity in a closed national community, which is why Russia and its influence groups in the Baltic countries strive to discredit any attempts at reforms in schools of national minorities that are to lead to integration (eg enhanced teaching of the state language). Such reforms are discredited by comparing them with the aspirations to assimilate national communities “- it was written in the file.
Translated by Katarzyna Widlas within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.