Lithuania celebrated yesterday the 80th anniversary of the its declaration of independence, with Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski featuring as a central figure of the official events. The main theme in Kwasniewski’s discussions with Lithuania’s outgoing President Algirdas Brazauskas, President-elect Valdas Adamkus and Parliament Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis was the theme of a special partnership among the two countries and of Poland as the "advocate" of Lithuania in NATO and the European Union.
While urging NATO to open its door to the three Baltic states in a follow-up round of enlargement, Kwasniewski particularly stressed that "there cannot be a secure Poland without a secure Lithuania." Adamkus accepted an invitation to Poland as, apparently, his first official visit abroad after his February 26 inauguration. Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis also attended the events in Vilnius. Estonian President Lennart Meri did not. (BNS, February 16)
The Lithuanian-Polish rapprochement has gathered momentum since last year and is acquiring institutional forms. This development has been paralleled — and to some extent stimulated — by competitive trends in the relations among the three Baltic states, most apparently in their effort to gain admission to the European Union.
OMON Trial in Riga Foiled.