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By the warning of "exclusive rights" to local Poles in the annual assessment of national security threats, the Lithuanian State Security Department meant the possible risks of separatism, not the name-spelling with non-Lithuanian characters or bilingual street signs, says the department's director Darius Jauniškis.
Darius Jauniškis
Darius Jauniškis
© DELFI / Andrius Ufartas

"Let's not forget the attempts to create certain territories inside Lithuania that would be independent – this is the threat of separatism. Russia is specifically aiming to take advantage of various diaspora, which may not get enough attention in Lithuania or think they do not get enough attention, to influence via the prism," the security chief told journalists on Monday.

He spoke in comment of the statements contained in the report, which said that "granting of exclusive rights to the Polish community gives background for Russia and its groups of influence to demand for the same rights and eventually a special status to Russian community in all the Baltic states."

According to the document, Russia aims to take advantage of "the constantly set requirements to grant the Polish community of Vilnius region exclusive rights."

Asked whether the State Security Department saw rebirth of the idea of Vilnius region autonomy, Jauniškis replied: "No, we are not saying this in any way, we're only stating that the possibility could come around eventually, especially in light of the elements of hybrid war, and the narrative remains and is taken advantage of."

Asked whether the exclusive or dangerous rights included the aim of local Poles to have their names spelled in letters of the Latin alphabet that do not exist in the Lithuanian language or put up bilingual signs, Jauniškis said: "From our point of view, definitely not."

After publishing the report earlier on Monday, the State Security Department came under criticism from some political scientists, saying that the intelligence agencies were involved in political discussions.

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