08 kwietnia 2010
The presidents of Poland and Lithuania

On Thursday Lech Kaczyński paid a brief working visit to Vilnius, having been invited by the president of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite. Thursday's meeting was a continuation of talks begun during the last visit in March this year during the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Lithuanian Independence.

“I would like to emphasise that I support very close collaboration between our countries. I am convinced that such collaboration is in our common interest and also in the interest of the whole region,” said Lech Kaczyński during a press conference that followed the meeting. He added that the talks had included matters pertaining to the power industry, the refinery in Mažeikiai, as well as cooperation with Russia and the United States.

The president expressed his astonishment at the decision of the Lithuanian Seimas, which rejected a government bill permitting the spelling of Polish surnames true to their pronunciation and in the first reading accepted a draft law that excluded such a possibility. He stated that the subject had been considered during Thursday's meeting but that he had also discussed it with the former president, Valdas Adamkus.

Lech Kaczyński emphasised that Poland is inhabited also by Lithuanians and other nationalities and that he could not imagine that those people might be denied the right to spell their surnames in accordance with their original forms. “I would like to express the hope that this matter will reappear,” said the Polish President, adding that the solutions accepted by the Seimas might not be in accordance with the rules of the European Union. He also highlighted that this issue was an argument for the opponents of rapprochement between Poland and Lithuania.

“Nonetheless, I remain optimistic,” he concluded. Lech Kaczyński expressed his happiness at the good relations with President Dalia Grybauskaite. He also expressed his hope for further meetings and reminded those present that in July both countries would jointly celebrate the 600th anniversary of the victory of both nations at Grunwald – an event that determined the fate of this part of Europe for many years.

(PAP, own information)