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Saulius Skvernelis, the candidate to become Lithuania's next prime minister, sees Poland as a strategic partner and vows to make every effort "to reload" relations with the neighboring nation, which are currently not in their best shape.
Saulius Skvernelis
Saulius Skvernelis
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

"Poland is our strategic partner. Speaking about our national defense, (the Polish) army is among the biggest and strongest ones in NATO," Skvernelis told the parliament when asked Lithuania's relations with the neighbor.

"We have a neighboring large economy that is growing very fast, but we are not using its potential. I think that our relations of the past years are not very bad, but they are not neighborly and should be changed," the candidate said.

"I will make every effort, within my competence, to ensure that these relations gain another momentum and are reloaded," he said.

Skvernelis is to start meetings with the parliament's political groups on Thursday. The Seimas is expected to vote on whether or not to approve him as prime minister next week.

Relations between Lithuania and Poland have been marred in recent years by disagreements over the situation of ethnic minorities.

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