Lithuanians upset with Poland's restrained stance

January 15, 1991|By Kay Withers | Kay Withers,Special to The Sun

WARSAW -- Lithuanian government representatives expressed disappointment yesterday with the Polish government's failure to accord the embattled Vilnius authorities the diplomatic recognition they need to survive an incursion of Soviet tanks.

"The government could have said [Soviet] actions are aggression," said Czeslaw Okinczyc, a deputy to the Lithuanian Parliament who, with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas, has created a Lithuanian information center in a luxury restaurant here.

In reference to the Soviet assault on Lithuania's main broadcast facility on Sunday, the new Polish government of Jan Krzysztof Bielecki only said that it was "concerned to learn that force was used vis-a-vis various institutions and civilians in Lithuania." It called for negotiations between Moscow and Vilnius.

Polish Foreign Minister Krzysztof Skubiszewski said that Poland supported "Lithuanian aspirations" but that "independence cannot be gained from day to day or even from year to year."

"We want the best possible relations [with Lithuania]," Mr. Skubiszewski said after the first Cabinet meeting of the new Polish government.

"On the other hand, relations with the U.S.S.R. are of primary strategic significance for Poland."

Mr. Saudargas fled Vilnius on Friday to represent the beleaguered Lithuanian government abroad.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.