Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė met on Friday with the Mission Siberia 2017 team who are leaving next week for Russia's Siberian city of Irkutsk.
Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė meets with Mission Siberia 2017 team
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"These young people are undertaking a huge mission. It is not only about going there and restoring graves, not only about communicating with (local) Lithuanians and their descendants. What is the most important is that the young people understand our history and that they respect it and try to remember it and ensure that it is not forgotten," Grybauskaitė said in an audio recording released by her press office.

"It is important for every nation to respect and remember its history," she said.

After the Soviets occupied Lithuania, around 130,000 people were deported from the country between 1940 and 1953.

The deportee lists included elderly and ill people, disabled people, pregnant women, children and babies. Some 5,000 Lithuanian children died on their journey to deportation sites.

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