To go or not to go, by Landsbergis

Pranešk apie klaidą

Vytautas Landsbergis, published in lzinios.lt on 19 April
Sometimes it’s useful to go somewhere. Sometimes – not to.

Do we still remember how two presidents of the Baltic States did not go to the Honorary parade for the liberators of Europe in Moscow? (I have heard that in the first row, right past Lenin’s mausoleum marched the destroyers of villages in Chechnya, and Europe was… applauding?)

The third president of the Baltic States went as if wanting to say something there publicly. Nobody heard a sound. And those two that did not go, they were heard all right.

So I’ll move to the latter not-going to Warsaw. Now, everybody seems to have a need to reflect on this subject. And the majority are rebuking. Even Kęstutis Girnius, who actually thinks when he speaks, expressed criticism: “The nonsensical talks and political hooliganism of Radoslaw Sikorski do not justify similar actions on the part of Lithuania.”

I quoted this sentence immediately to the Polish television. Obviously, all hell is breaking loose there too, maybe even harder than in Lithuania. And that’s useful for self-concept.

And Girnius, in the very same text, remembers how “During the rule of Valdas Adamkus Lithuania threatened to veto NATO and the EU decisions regarding the supposed pandering to Russia.” We could definitely cross out the word ‘supposed’.

Many things turn into a mythology that journalists expand upon willingly like ancient minstrels. Looks like in the future songs will be sung and tales told about the Lithuanian President’s caprices and slaps in the face. Even about the victory of Russian agents.

But not about the situation that was created by certain insulting threats. I think they came from some losers in Poland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, because soldiers, especially those serving in NATO, have a different sense of duty. Thus a statement was made: we will refuse to protect your airspace if you don’t do as we (or Waldemar Tomaszewski) need.

Obviously, the space is protected by NATO; the Polish guys only compromised themselves in the eyes of the West by thinking that inside a solidary organization one ‘gang’ can go against another by breaking a few planks in the fence. Or by celebrating its former swineries (that weren’t condemned), e.g., the date for the demonstration against the system of education was carried out on the same day when in 1938 Lithuania received an ultimatum and in 1991 Mikhail Gorbachev organized a referendum on ‘the preservation of the USSR’. Lithuania, having declared a restitution of independence a year ago and survived the aggression in January, didn’t take part in that referendum, but two of our regions decided that they weren’t Lithuania but the USSR and organized a ballot of obedient people. I’d rather not mention the names of those regions. And now, on March 17, the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania honoured that historic day of separatism or of the desired second, ‘soviet’, Poland.

So perhaps going to Warsaw would’ve resulted in an opportunity to discuss the matter with the host? Or simply ask directly, among the four, how the President of Poland feels about the mischief of his Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Girnius speaks indecorously about hooliganism.) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in question even buys children from parents after all.

Maintaining silence if you’re puny is also a well-known method recommended some time ago.

The President of Lithuania chose the third option.

The first one, apparently, could’ve turned into an irritating bringing down of festive mood. Look, she has just come and is already ruining the show.

The second – swallow the insults without saying a word because there won’t be a next time.

What became of the third one? Looks like the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Poland decided upon the indivisibility of NATO safety and the need to exercise a long-lasting protection of our airspace which will also be ensured by the NATO country Poland. This idea will be presented, as decided, in Chicago. By the four of them.

And whether the document regarding Poland’s further involvement will change due to the inquiries in Warsaw who said what, is unclear. Maybe the staying of our leader was a good decision after all. One thing is clear; the initial threat not to patrol over the airspace of Lithuania has been thrown in to the waste-basket of back-country diplomacy. And Poland’s president Bronislaw Komorowski has signed the decision to discipline Sikorski. This declaration is hardly a victory of Russia’s agents. Komorowski’s proposal to meet Grybauskaitė separately is an appropriate one as well.

Now, the thinkers should think deeper. Everybody, imagine yourself as a President of Lithuania and make a choice from one of the three cases of behaviour and actions. Have you made yours yet?

Read other recent articles:
Kubilius suggests not to dramatize President’s decision not go to Warsaw
President’s advisor: the “shouting” about the worsening is what really makes the Polish-Lithuanian relations worse
I was only informed about President‘s decision – Kubilius
Polish-Russian relations after the 2nd Katyn – what is better for Lithuania?
President’s caprice plays into the hands of Polish radicals, by Girnius

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