After it turned out that Lithuania will be the only country of the European Union without any representation at Victory Day celebrations in Moscow this May, Lithuanian leaders explain that Lithuania will pay tribute to World War Two victims in other ways which do not include playing audience for the Kremlin's show of power.
Victory Day parade rehearsal
© AFP/Scanpix

Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius has downplayed the fact that Lithuanian representatives will not attend the Victory Day Parade in Moscow on 9 May. The minister has underlined that Lithuanian diplomats will pay tribute to the victims of the war on 8 May in Moscow.

Representatives of Ukraine and Georgia have said they will not be attending the military parade either. However, Lithuania seems to be the only Member State of the European Union which will not send its representative to the Moscow's Red Square.

The foreign minister said that military parades were always meant to showcase power. And the latest statements of the Russian government have shown that the victory in Crimea, its illegal occupation and annexation, will be celebrated. The foreign minister told news agency ELTA on the phone from Saudi Arabia that Lithuania does not wish to be part of such celebrations.

Linkevičius says that every country has its own position regarding the Victory Day Parade in Moscow and other countries should respect that position.

Meanwhile President Dalia Grybauskaitė says that Lithuania understands the significance of the end of World War Two, but the country's decision not to send any official representatives to the Victory Day Parade reflects Lithuania's and the European Union's opinion on the Kremlin's current foreign policy.

According to the president, only a few EU member states will send their representatives to the Victory Day Parade in Moscow. Grybauskaitė emphasised that Lithuanian and other countries' diplomats would pay tribute to World War Two victims in Moscow on 8 May, one day before the official events. The president said she would do the same in Vilnius.

"We appreciate and understand the significance of the end of World War Two," said Grybauskaitė. "But I do not think that now is the time to watch a military parade which will include the flag of occupied Crimea."

It is forbidden to copy the text of this publication without a written permission from ELTA.

Lithuania prepares for 'spy swap' with Russia

Lithuania and Russia have agreed on an exchange of people convicted of espionage , well-informed...

Parliament speaker's removal vote fails

A vote on the removal of Speaker of the Lithuanian Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis failed on Tuesday...

Parliament board to hold emergency meeting on speaker's removal

The Board of the Lithuanian Seimas is set to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday night to discuss...

Over 50 MPs voice no-confidence in Seimas speaker

Fifty-three Lithuanian MPs have signed a document expressing no-confidence in Viktoras Pranckietis ,...

Lithuania drops to 23rd place on EU's Gender Equality Index

Lithuania fell to number 23 among the EU's 28 member states in the latest ranking by the European...