Second day discussing democracy in Vilnius: Putin is very European, the Sicilian variety
Ludo Segers | the Lithuania Tribune
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
During its second day, the Vilnius Democracy Forum moved into high gear with two panel discussions that saw expert insight into various threats to democracy. As autocratic regimes figure high on the list of threats to democracy, Putin's Russia, China and even North Korea were never far from the discussion.
Ramunas Vilpisauskas moderating the morning session at the Vilnius Democracy Forum Photo Ludo Segers
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Monday afternoon saw about 200 academics, political scientists, diplomats, members of the Seimas (parliament), democracy promoting think-thanks and action groups gathering in the Presidential Palace in Vilnius for the start of a two-day conference to discuss democracy or the lack thereof, particularly east of the Lithuanian border.
Russian public and opposition figures who took part in the Free Russia Forum in Vilnius said that Russia needed new opposition forces, as its society has turned its back on the currently divided political forces that oppose the Kremlin.
If Moscow forced Minsk to export its oil products via Russian railways and ports, that would be economically unviable and dangerous for Belarus, Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said on Thursday.
Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says that Vilnius and Warsaw are gradually moving to a new stage of better relations and hopes that Lithuanian politicians will solve the highly contentious issue of the spelling of Polish names in Lithuanian personal documents.
The leaked recordings of conversations between Poland's former foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski and then CEO of oil company Orlen, Jacek Krawiec, about investments in Mažeikiai oil refinery in Lithuania do not reflect the position of the current Polish government, Warsaw said on Wednesday.