• August 15, 2018
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Prime Minister Skvernelis visited Lithuanian community in Poland

Lithuania is willing to help to set up a Centre for Lithuanian Culture and Education and a kindergarten in Suwałki – said the Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis.

On Wednesday Saulius Skvernelis, who was visiting Poland, said that the Lithuanian community living in that city have been asking for such a centre, which is why Lithuania is willing to help and seek common solutions for setting up such a facility.

In a press release the government informed that Skvernelis during his meeting with the Lithuanian community stressed that, if needed, Lithuania will help financially.

“There would be a possibility of meetings, strengthening the community, representing Lithuania and also organising cultural events, extracurricular activities” – pointed out the Prime Minister.

The question of a facility which would be a meeting place for the Lithuanian community, was raised at a meeting of Skvernelis with the Mayor of the City of Suwałki Czesław Renkiewicz. The Mayor announced that setting up a Centre for Lithuanian Culture and Education is on a list of his planned works. He pointed out that the main actual problem is to find an adequate building and hand it over to the Lithuanian community. However, Renkiewicz assured that this matter will be solved – indicated the Lithuanian Government in a communication.

Lithuanians living in Poland want a Lithuanian kindergarten to be opened in the planned Centre. Skvernelis said that 80 Lithuanian families turned with this case to the Mayor of Suwałki.

The Prime Minister stressed that with the Mayor of the City of Suwałki he discussed the options for the kindergarten. It was also considered whether for the Lithuanian community they should hand over a building or rather a plot of land.

“At the beginning of September I will meet with the Prime Minister of Poland and we will raise this topic. Anyway, Lithuania will do everything to make the Centre and the kindergarten modernly furnished places” – assured the Prime Minister.

If the construction of the Centre takes longer, a temporary Lithuanian group could be created in one of the kindergartens in Suwałki. This was discussed at the meeting of Skvernelis and Renkiewicz.

During his visit in Poland, the Prime Minister drew attention to the good relations between Poland and Lithuania.

“We see good prospect for bilateral relations. Running the current Lithuanian Government, Poland is and will remain both a strategic partner and a friend for Lithuania. I am delighted about the intensive and productive regional cooperation. Suwałki Region is very important for Lithuania. We have here a large Lithuanian community. They are both loyal Polish citizens and people who cherish Lithuanian culture and traditions, even those which are forgotten in parts of Lithuania” – said the Prime Minister.

The head of the government pointed out that there is still an unresolved problem of textbooks for Lithuanian schools in Poland.

“Educational reform is underway also in Poland. The same matters concerning creating classes, number of pupils, but, as in this case Lithuania applies exceptions and comes with an individual approach to national minorities’ schools, then we expect the same of Polish authorities” – announced Skvernelis.

On Wednesday the Prime Minister took part in a solemn mass in Puńsk, paid tribute to Antanas Baranauskas at his monument and by the crypt in the basilica in Sejny, where the Lithuanian poet is buried. He also paid tribute at the monument of the victims of Smolensk disaster and to Polish and Lithuanian soldiers, buried at the Berżniki cementary. Skvernelis also visited a former Theological Seminary in Sejny.

In August 2017 the Prime Minister of Lithuania visited a Lithuanian community in Puńsk.

Based on: lrv.lt, BNS, in-house info

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

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