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Opinions & Interviews

3 Feb 2020

Lithuanian FM on political differences with Belarus: It is no issue

Lithuanian FM on political differences with Belarus: It is no issue
Linas Linkevicius

MINSK, 3 February (BelTA) – Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevicius acknowledged political disagreements between Belarus and Lithuania, but expressed confidence that this is not an obstacle to a continuous dialogue between the countries. Linas Linkevicius made this statement as he met with representatives of the Lithuanian diaspora at the Lithuanian Center for Culture, Education and Information in the Rymdyuny agrotown, Ostrovets District, BelTA has learned. 

“We are neighbors and we should communicate, talk to each other, respect each other thinking about the future despite political disagreements, which is not a secret. However, these disagreements are not a problem. We should discuss them openly like neighbors do,” the minister said.

In his words, Lithuania is interested in maintaining contacts with its diaspora living in Belarus. “Our nation is not so big, there are not so many Lithuanians in the world; many live outside Lithuania, in various countries. Every Lithuanian is important for us,” the minister underlined. In this regard, he noted that it is of particular importance that the visit started with the Gervyaty area, the agrotown of Rymdyuny, as people here preserve Lithuanian traditions, there are a school and a kindergarten with Lithuanian as a language of instruction here; the Lithuanian Center for Culture, Education and Information was opened in Rymdyuny.

Linas Linkevicius noted that this year Lithuania is celebrating an important milestone – the 30th anniversary of the restoration of the country’s independence. “Looking back at this period, we need to take stock of what we have achieved, where we succeeded and where we have failed, what we will do next and what path we will take. For these plans to come into fruition, we need peace worldwide and in our region, no feuds and more understanding. We should do as much as we can for it,” the minister said.

He thanked Belarus for hosting him and assured that he is committed to a constructive dialogue across all the issues.

A reminder, on 4 February the foreign ministers of Lithuania and Belarus are to hold talks at the Belarusian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and after that they will make a joint statement for mass media.

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