Lithuania's diplomats on Monday protested over the national anthem of the Soviet-occupied Lithuania played during a judo tournament in Italy last weekend.
© Jurgis Paplaitis
Updates throughout.

Rasa Jakilaitienė, spokeswoman for Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, said that the Lithuanian embassy in Rome had sent a protest note to the Italian Foreign Ministry.

"This is an unfortunate incident and we are drawing the attention of the Italian Foreign Ministry (to it) to ensure that this will not happen again", she told BNS.

According to the spokeswoman, the letter will also be sent to the Italian Judo Federation.

"The embassy to Italy expresses its protest to the local judo federation, because an anthem that was imposed on Lithuania by the occupying power was played during the tournament in Italy," Jakilaitienė said.

"We demand an apology and (ask them to prevent) such things from occurring in the future," she added.

The national anthem of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, which ceased to exist after Lithuania regained independence in 1990, was played for Lithuanian gold medallist Justina Kmieliauskaitė during the medal ceremony at the Cadet European Judo Cup in Follonica, in western Italy.

Justina Stalionė, secretary general at the Lithuanian Judo Federation, told BNS that the organizers had the right national anthem approved by the Lithuanian delegation.

"It's hard say now why the wrong anthem was turned on at the event. It was impossible to quickly stop that," she said.

According to Stalionė, there was some confusion among Lithuanians present at the ceremony when the Soviet-era anthem started playing.

"The organizers realized that something wrong was going on," she said.

The federation has asked the European Judo Union to explain how the incident could have happened.

It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

At A. Guoga’s initiative, 27 MEPs urge Amazon Inc. to halt sales of Soviet symbols

At the initiative of MEP Antanas Guoga , 27 MEPs have called on the CEO of Amazon Inc. Jeff Bezos in...

R. Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė: "Amazon should stop selling items with soviet symbols"

Member of Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and Deputy Chair of the Homeland Union-Lithuanian...

Poland thanks Lithuania for naming Vilnius street after Kaczynski

Poland on Friday thanked Lithuania for naming a street in its capital Vilnius after late Polish...

Locomotives perform Poland's anthem in Lithuania on centenary occasion

Seven locomotives performed Poland 's national anthem in Vilnius on Friday as Poland's independence...

Street named after late Polish President Kaczynski unveiled in Vilnius

A sign marking a Vilnius street named after late Polish President Lech Kaczynski has been unveiled...