- February 25, 2022
Lithuanian Poles Stand in Solidarity with Ukraine
Lithuanian Poles have condemned Russian aggression in Ukraine. On February 24, when Russia attacked Ukraine in the morning, a number of Polish organizations in Lithuania issued special statements. Vilnius and Šalčininkai districts canceled cultural events.
Statement of the Association of Poles in Lithuania
The General Board of the Association of Poles in Lithuania stated that it “condemns the Kremlin’s actions” because “war never was and will never be a method of resolving conflicts.” “We call for the intensification of all actions for the protection of civilians and continuing efforts to ensure peace. We urge you to participate in the Rosary novena for the restoration of peace in Ukraine and pray for peace in Europe and around the world,” the statement said.
The Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania—Christian Families Alliance Sees No Need for a Separate Statement
There will not be a separate statement from the Alliance.
“On the website awpl.lt a statement of the General Board of the Association of Poles in Lithuania was posted. It was also shared on Facebook. Generally, there are the same people in the Alliance and Association. This is why there will be no separate statement,” assistant of MEP Rajmund Zacharewicz informed.
Two MPs of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania—Christian Families Alliance, Rita Tamašunienė and Beata Pietkiewicz, supported the resolution of the Parliament condemning the Russian aggression.
Although officially the Association of Poles in Lithuania condemned Russia’s actions in Ukraine, the former Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania—Christian Families Alliance MP, Zbigniew Jedzinski, who is currently an assistant to MP Czeslaw Olszewski, wrote on Facebook that “Ukrainian soldiers are leaving the front line en masse and dropping their weapons.” After a few hours, the politician removed the post.
Polish media in Lithuania stand in solidarity with Ukraine
The Association of Polish Media in Lithuania wrote that “the Kremlin’s brutal attack is a challenge to our great Polish community.” “We stand in solidarity with all Compatriots caught up in this fratricidal war, sharing common pain and concern for tomorrow because there is no safe Lithuania and Poland without a free Ukraine and Belarus,” the statement said.
Vilnius journalists stressed their solidarity with journalists of Polish media in Ukraine and Belarus: “May this awareness of a great national and historical community give you strength and help you face the greatest threat that the criminal tandem of the Putin and Lukashenko regimes poses to all of Europe today.”
Support of the Polish Discussion Club
The Polish Discussion Club also expressed words of support for the Ukrainian society.
“We encourage everyone and all NGOs, especially national minority organizations, to support Ukraine and its citizens in every possible way in this struggle for the future and security of Ukraine and all of Europe,” reads a statement from the Polish NGO in Lithuania.
“Because of Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine, the Stara Rossa Social Committee for the Care strongly condemns the assault and use of violence against Ukraine! We express full solidarity with the entire Ukrainian people and support Ukraine as a sovereign state!” the Committee stated.
Due to the war in Ukraine, the local governments of the Vilnius and Šalčininkai districts, where Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania—Christian Families Alliance has held independent power for many years, have canceled their carnival events.
“The local government of Vilnius district is united in heart and thoughts with the people of Ukraine. We condemn the Kremlin’s actions. We express full solidarity and support for the citizens of Ukraine as a sovereign state. I appeal to all residents of the Vilnius district to pray for peace in Ukraine and the whole world,” stated the mayor of the Vilnius district Maria Rekść. “Following the declaration of a state of emergency in Lithuania, to ensure the safety of the population and public order in the Šalčininkai district, cultural events are canceled,” the administration of the Šalčininkai district stressed in a special statement.
Translated by Karolina Glaubitt within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.