- August 22, 2018
Anna Fotyga: I cannot imagine that a Pole could call Poland a foreign country
Anna Fotyga, MEP, said in an interview with Radio Znad Wilii, referring to the conflict between Michał Mackiewicz, President of the Association of Poles in Lithuania, and Polish government officials: “I strongly appeal to Poles in Lithuania to try this rapprochement. I cannot imagine that a Pole could call Poland a foreign country. I’m asking you to come to an agreement. Poland stands behind the Poles everywhere.” In Vilnius, Fotyga takes part in an international conference under the patronage of Valdas Adamkus.
“Every time I’m in Lithuania I’m trying to visit a part of the country and it almost always works. This is a sentimental journey,” emphasized Anna Fotyga. On the eve of the conference she laid flowers at the cemeteries in Antokol and Rossa accompanied by the Polish Ambassador to Lithuania, Urszula Doroszewska. Anna Fotyga also laid flowers at the Marshal’s birthplace in Zułów, Glinciszki and Ponary. Also during her stay in Pikieliszki and Mejszagoła, where recently Lech Kaczyński’s Square was opened, Anna Fotyga talked to local Poles.
In expressing her appreciation for Ambassador Urszula Doroszewska, Anna Fotyga referred to the criticism that had been voiced by the President of the Association of Poles in Lithuania (ZPL), Michał Mackiewicz, at the time. During the convention of the Association of Poles in Lithuania he said: “Yesterday the ambassador called me in and said: as a representative of the Polish state, I am to report that you cannot stand as a candidate (in the election of the President of the Association of Poles in Lithuania (ZPL), editorial note). What kind of diplomacy is it? What is international law? What is this? Senior official of foreign country. Foreign parliamentarians restrict freedom and the law. I am governed by the law of the Republic of Lithuania.”
“I am a former foreign minister. The Ambassador, in the absence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Prime Minister and the President of the Council of Ministers, the highest representative of the Polish state in the country of his office. It is a very important function performed by a person who has great merits for the whole region.” – commented Anna Fotyga.
She added: “I also visited Urszula Doroszewska when she was an ambassador to Georgia during the Smolensk catastrophe, I know how she behaved, how well she represented Poland. I know that he is a person with a great deal of knowledge, a person with whom we can communicate. I strongly appeal to the Poles in Lithuania to try this rapprochement. MEP Waldemar Tomaszewski says that Poles in Lithuania are strong now, and this is also a result of Poland’s policy, which on the one hand supports Poles, but on the other hand wants the relations between Poland and Lithuania to be as good as possible.”
According to the MEP Anna Fotyga, the main issue between the two countries is security.
She said: “The main topic for Central and Eastern Europe, which undoubtedly connects Poland and Lithuania, is security issues in our region. There is no doubt that thanks to the understanding of the threat from the East, but also from various other threats, we now have a much more serious presence than a dozen or so years ago of allies on our territories. We are committed to strengthening and implementing the provisions of NATO, so that there are allies in our part of the world.”
As she added, the security issues, which are the most important in our times, do not obscure the issues of Poles in Lithuania. In her opinion, good relations between Poland and Lithuania also translate into an improvement in Polish affairs.
Referring to the topic of the conference in Vilnius devoted to the reconstruction of European and transatlantic resilience, Anna Fotyga emphasized: “A strong, sustainable, visible Central and Eastern Europe, well governed, cooperating, self-conscious and world friendly is part of the stabilisation of the whole of Europe, and a stable Europe is important for many regions. Recovering this dynamic is now more difficult because the world is facing more problems, so a certain degree of stability, a certain vision, is needed. We are a very transatlantic region, we can see our partners’ problems, but we remain a close, faithful, reliable ally and appreciate the role of countries such as the United States of America and Canada.”
Translated by Aleksandra Jackiewicz within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.