Books on Lithuania
Update No: 317 - (30/05/07)
Lithuania and Poland celebrate the first constitution in
Lithuania is redolent with history. It once in the Middle Ages had an empire
stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea. Muscovy put a stop to that. The
Lithuanians then joined up with the Poles in the Union of Lublin in 1569. That
was later dissolved, as Poland was dismembered and Lithuania was absorbed by
Tsarist Russia; but the two peoples are closely entwined to this day.
Lithuania and Poland held a joint celebration of the signing of the constitution
of the Republic of Two Nations on May 2nd. It was the first time that the two
countries have ever celebrated the event together. The 1791 Lithuanian-Polish
constitution was the first document of its kind in Europe - a fact of which both
countries are proud.
In a speech commemorating the event, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus noted
that "remembering the works of our ancestors lets spread and nourish the
democratic ideas and defend the civil rights that were the biggest virtue at the
time already. Let's protect this virtue by respecting our past. And together
lets remember that faithfulness for ideas of the first written European
constitution today means the joint responsibility for the future of united and
In Poland, the Lithuanian-Polish Constitution Day is one of the biggest national
Lithuania reacts to Tallinn events
Lithuania has a special relationship to the two other Baltic states too'
President Adamkus said his country supports the position of the Estonian
government in its recent moves related to the controversial Bronze Soldier
monument, which was removed from central Tallinn on April 27th during two nights
of rioting. Speaking from the Vatican, where he was meeting with Pope Benedict
XVI, the president said he was observing the developments in Tallinn with great
The president's press service reported that Adamkus stressed that this
exceptionally sensitive procedure of reburying the remains of World War II
soldiers was being conducted observing international legal standards and paying
due respect to the fallen.
However some Lithuanian politicians on April 28 had expressed fear that the
riots that broke out in Tallinn over the removal of the Bronze Soldier monument
would spread to Lithuania as well. "The situation is very bad. What
happened is no special provocation. The events are related to a certain interior
policy of Russia, political competition. Any method must go to boost popularity.
At the time when a peaceful demonstration was taking place in St. Petersburg,
ultra-nationalists gathered to a meeting in Moscow. Their leader was making
instigations to bomb Estonia down to hell, and the crowd was cheering. That is
shocking," the Vakaru Ekspresas daily quotes member of the European
Parliament Gintaras Didziokas saying.
In his opinion, Russia's response was inadequate and intolerable. "They say
they are the only fighters against fascists. That is absolutely wrong. But the
Estonians are equally stubborn, failing to start a dialogue with Russia over the
disassembly of the monument. The Russians can really end diplomatic ties,
anything can be expected from them. Russia has too much large-sized equity in
Estonia, and the economical relations are much better than, say, with
Lithuania," Didziokas said.
Chairman of the Lithuanian delegation at the Baltic Assembly Valerijus Simulikas
told the Vakaru Ekspresas newspaper that Estonians should have allowed more time
for a diplomatic dialogue with Russia. "Estonians ran out of patience. We
at the Assembly said that they must proceed via the diplomatic way. But they did
not even make up any work group on removal of the monument. They knew the
consequences. Now the commotion may jump to the [other] Baltic states. A
diplomatic war will go on, and Russians will employ every opportunity.
Diplomatic sanctions are possible, too," the Member of Parliament said.
Lithuanian speaker criticises Estonia for Soviet monument row
The Lithuanian position was nuanced, however, by the fact that the Lithuanian
parliament speaker Viktoras Muntianas criticised Estonian authorities for the
poor preparation of the dismantlement of the monument to the Soviet Liberator
Soldier in Tallinn. this happened in early May.
He urged everyone to understand that Russian people will never agree to the
interpretation of the monument to Soviet soldiers as a symbol of occupation. In
an interview with radio Ziniu Radias, Muntianias said, "It is very hard for
an ordinary Russian person to understand speeches where liberation [from Nazi
fascists] is linked to occupation."
Speaking about the Soviet Liberator Soldier in Tallinn, he said, "The
consequences of these actions were not properly forecast."
Lithuania: the impact of the 'Atlantic approach' in the field of strategic
and economical security
A team of authors from the 'Centre for International and Strategic Studies' in
Washington and of the 'Institute for International Relations and Political
Science' of Vilnius had foreseen, some time before Lithuania joined both the EU
and NATO (2004), that the country was heading towards integration into the
Western security system.
A 'White Paper' regarding Lithuania's foreign and security policies explained
the two mechanisms that needed to be implemented in order to reach this
objective. Establishing bilateral agreements with former Warsaw Pact countries,
encouraged by the common interest in joining the EU, would, together with the
building of security structures, assure the development of a stable country:
integrated, from the economical point of view, in the European Union and, from
political and military points of view, in NATO.