Benediktas Juodka, chairman of Lithuania’s parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, suggests the country should increase the amount of investment in regions with large poputation of ethnic minorities.
After the recent increase in the number of Russian provocations (the abduction of the Estonian officer, escalating proposals in Latvia to allow a second official language and a statement by a Russian Foreign Ministry official about alleged violations of rights of Russian-speaking populations in the Baltic states), Lithuania should be ready ‘for these actions’, Benediktas Juodka said.
“The essence of the Russian conflict is the ‘defence’ of rights of Russians in Southeastern Ukraine. The intention can be used to provide pseudo defence in any country of the European Union, which has a certain percentage of Russian-speaking residents. If this is how it goes, Estonia is probably faced with the biggest threat but we should also be prepared,” delfi.lt quotes the top official as saying.
The Foreign Affairs Committee chairman stresses that Lithuania should also pay more attention to regions with large populations of ethnic minorities. “Look at the Šalčininkai district, at Visaginas – did they get any investment? The impression is that the areas are forgotten,” he pointed out.
It is to be recalled that Konstantin Dolgov, Russian foreign ministry’s commissioner for human rights, democracy and the rule of law, expressed his dissatisfaction with alleged mistreatment of Russian-speakers in the Baltic states at a conference of Russian-speaking communities from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
He urged the international community to ‘respond decisively’ to ‘violations of human rights’ of Russian-speaking residents in the Baltic states, which put the Lithuanians on the alert.