|Polish politicians use Lithuania as a "scapegoat," Ms Grybauskaite reportedly said|
Courtesy of the European Commission
Diplomatic difficulties between Poland and Lithuania show no signs of abating, as Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite is reported to have taken a swipe at Poland while on a visit to the US to attend last week’s NATO summit in Chicago.
Ms Grybauskaite, while speaking to a gathering of the Lithuanian-American community in Illinois, said that “Polish politicians have decided that … it is better to have Russia as a friend, and all other smaller countries, which are not so important, could become scapegoats. It seems that this is the role we have been given,” the Lithuania Tribune news portal reported.
In response, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski told journalists, “We don’t have the original transcript of the statements, but I can’t imagine that such a statement could come now when Polish pilots are protecting the skies over the Baltic states.”
“It seems to me that it would be easier to establish rights under the European Charter on Minority Languages, than to build exotic theories,” he added, referring to ongoing efforts by Lithuania’s Polish minority to use Polish versions of their names in official documents.
Polish-Lithuanian ties have been strained in recent years, largely due to Polish accusations that the Lithuanian government has discriminated against Polish minorities who live in Lithuania. Over 6 percent of Lithuania’s 3.2 million citizens are of Polish origin, making them the largest minority in the Baltic state.
Polish president Bronisław Komorowski refrained from commenting on Ms Grybauskaite’s words directly, though he did say that during last week’s NATO summit in Chicago he had “the satisfaction of discussing the Polish involvement in the security of the Baltic states, including air-policing missions.”
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