Lithuania Loves Poland - Online Campaign (2013)

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Radicals Cannot Speak on Behalf of Entire Nations[edit]

Despite their stormy relationship, Poland and Lithuania have supported one another in difficult circumstances. When Poland was invaded in 1939, Lithuania provided a place of refuge for Polish officers. In 1991, when Lithuanians were rebuilding their state under constant threat of the Soviet army, Poland expressed a readiness to host a Lithuanian government-in-exile in Warsaw, should the need arise. In times of peace, military cooperation was thriving, symbolised by the visit of general Rastikis to Warsaw (March 1938), or more recent Polish-Lithuanian-Danish army manoeuvres in Rukla (1995).

Analysts from ‘The Economist’ suggest that current Polish-Lithuanian tension is caused by personal sentiments of two politicians. The first one is the Polish minister of foreign affairs, Radek Sikorski. His statements about Lithuania seem exceptionally harsh in comparison to his usual control. On the Lithuanian side, President Dalia Grybauskaite is known for her harshness in negotiations with Polish officials. It cannot be denied that personal sympathies and antipathies of politicians can play a role in international relations.

In 2013 social networks were showered with photographs of people holding a slogan “Lithuania Loves Poland”. One of the individuals behind the idea, Mykolas Majauskas, said anger would not benefit anyone: ‘I realize that sometimes hating is easier than loving. However, anger makes us weaker and deprives us of precious time. Therefore, we promoted an initiative that had gone global immediately’. Majauskas, founder of the World Economic Forum network and former adviser to Lithuania's ex-PM Andrius Kubilius, told BNS on Friday that: "shared history and friendship between the two nations has given a log of love that we must share."