- April 19, 2023
Konstanty Radziwiłł presented credentials to President Gitanas Nausėda
The President of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda, received the credentials from the new Ambassador of the Republic of Poland in Vilnius, Konstanty Radziwiłł. Political scientist Andrzej Pukszto believes that the change of the ambassador is a continuation of the current course of Polish-Lithuanian relations.
In diplomatic language, credentials are the name of the solemn document by which the head of a diplomatic mission is appointed. Andrzej Duda handed Konstanty Radziwiłł his credentials on April 13. On Tuesday, April 18, the ceremony of handing over credentials to the head of Lithuania took place.
Infrastructure projects and the NATO summit
During the meeting, President Gitanas Nausėda stressed that Poland is one of the fundamental allies and partners in the European Union and NATO. The President of Lithuania pointed out that the implementation of joint infrastructural projects and cooperation in the field of defence, security, culture and science is very important. The issue of the NATO summit in Vilnius was also raised. Previously, the new ambassador marked out his priority tasks which included supporting bilateral relations in the political, economic, environmental and security dimensions.
After the ceremony at the presidential palace, the new ambassador answered journalists’ questions. “I will try to represent Poland as best as possible,” assured Radziwiłł. The diplomat said that in the context of the war in Ukraine, the two countries have become even closer: “However, we feel that this unites us. Cooperation on security and other areas, for example cybersecurity, is important.”
The ambassador told journalists that the issues of the Polish minority in Lithuania remain a priority for the Polish state. “Almost 200,000 Poles live here. It seems to me that they should be more noticed by the Lithuanian state. The presidency has a great deal of understanding on this matter. It seems to me that such a common denominator for settling the affairs of Poles in Lithuania would be a return to the idea of the Law on National Minorities,” declared Konstanty Radziwiłł.
Political scientist and historian Andrzej Pukszto believes that the change of the ambassador is a continuation of the current course of Polish-Lithuanian relations.
— The ambassador does not pursue an independent foreign policy. He is the representative of the state and implements state policy. It is the president of the Republic of Poland who delegates some of his powers and authorizes this person to implement state policy. So I think there will be a complete continuation. The activities of the new ambassador will reflect the policy being formed by the Polish president and government, the interlocutor tells “Kurier Wileński”.
From the doctor to minister
Konstanty Radziwiłł’s predecessor was Urszula Doroszewska, who held this position since 2017. A few weeks ago, Łukasz Jasina, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, stated that Konstanty Radziwiłł “because of the certain symbolism of his name will be received with great respect in Lithuania.” “We are experiencing one of the most beautiful moments in Polish-Lithuanian relations, I am very pleased that the Radziwiłł family will again participate in these good moments,” the spokesman said in an interview with “Polish Radio”.
Konstanty Radziwiłł comes from the princely family of Radziwiłł, which derives its lineage from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. He is the grandson of Konstanty Mikołaj Radziwiłł, a landowner and an officer of the Home Army.
The new Polish ambassador to Lithuania was born on January 9, 1958 in Wrocław. In 1977, he graduated from the VI High School named after Tadeusz Reytan in Warsaw. In 1983, he obtained a medical degree at the Medical Academy in Warsaw.
In 2015–2018, he was the Minister of Health in the government of Beata Szydło and Mateusz Morawiecki. In 2019, he became the governor of Mazowieckie voivodeship. On March 15, 2023, he was appointed a Polish ambassador to Lithuania.
– Of course, the name is important, but perhaps more important is the experience of such person in public administration. Experience in state management matters is very important. Konstanty Radziwiłł was a voivode for a long time. Previously, he was the Minister of Health. He also held various roles in the management of medical projects. I think his work experience is more important. Because if you do not have professional experience and political support, the name itself will not do much. Although certainly the name Radziwiłł will appeal to Lithuanian cultural or educational activists. Nevertheless, it is not the name that is most important, stresses Andrzej Pukszto in an interview with our journal.
The Three Seas Project
Since the beginning of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Lithuania and Poland have been the advocates of the Ukrainian case on the international arena. Both countries are connected by a number of joint projects.
– Relationships are more intense than ever. The political and economic situation leaves no time to think. This week shows the intensity of these relationships. There was a visit to Warsaw by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gabrielius Landsbergis, and later Minister Aušrinė Armonaitė paid a visit. There is not a month without a visit of parliamentary groups. Many issues connect both countries, whether in the field of security, energy, communication or education. In a certain sense, we can say that we have returned to the Polish-Lithuanian Union. Sometimes bilateral cooperation turns into multilateral cooperation. We have a formula of Three Seas cooperation. For example, in May, the next “Local Government Congress of the Three Seas” will take place in Lublin. I know that Lithuania is actively involved in this. There is the Lublin Triangle, which consists of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, Andrzej Pukszto shares his observations.
Translated by Aleksandra Bukhovets within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.