The Russian government's statements about the allegedly bad situation of Russian-speaking minorities in the Baltic states are alarming, says Lithuanian Parliamentary Speaker Loreta Graužinienė. She also thinks that some local politicians exaggerate problems of Lithuania's ethnic minorities to make them appear worse than they actually are.
Loreta Graužinienė
© DELFI / Šarūnas Mažeika

"Every statement should be taken very seriously, as everything in Ukraine started with statements, with discontent and some small moves. […] Consequently, little sparks can lead to bigger action," Graužinienė told the Žinių Radijas radio on Wednesday morning.

In her words, it is crucial to analyze how things develop and to respond to signals. The parliamentary speaker also noted the need to separate what some politicians say and the actual situation of ethnic minorities.

"There is a question whether it is the politicians who feel bad or the people of Polish decent. I would draw a line between those two things," said Graužinienė.

She also restated that the Ethnic Minority Law is not a priority, as questions are only raised by "one ethnic group", which, according to her, should not usurp the voice of all Lithuania's ethnic communities.

"As far as we see from organizations and representatives, ethnic minorities do not see major problems in connection to their representation. The only conflict we had was with the leader of the Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania, [MEP Valdemar] Tomaševski. However, when you talk to Lithuanian citizens of Polish decent, most of them have a different opinion. I believe there are attempts to spark an artificial conflict," said the parliamentary speaker.

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