Speaker of the Seimas expresses solidarity with and consideration to Poland marking the anniversaries of the Katyn massacre and the Smolensk tragedy
Press release, 10 April 2020
Photo by Olga Posaškova, Office of the Seimas
Viktoras Pranckietis, Speaker of the Seimas, and Arvydas Nekrošius, Deputy Speaker of the Seimas and Head of the Seimas Delegation to the Assembly of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania and the Sejm and Senate of the Republic of Poland, sent letters to the Marshals of the Polish Sejm and Senate and respectively to the Chairperson of the Polish delegation to the bilateral assembly concerning the 80th anniversary of the Katyn massacre and the 10th anniversary of the Smolensk tragedy.
The letters express genuine support for and solidarity with Poland, marking the 80th anniversary of the Katyn massacre and the 10th anniversary of the Smolensk tragedy.
‘The massacre of the Polish officers by the Soviet executioners in Katyn in 1940 is one of the most brutal war crimes against and a tragic loss for Poland. Such barbaric crimes cannot be repeated and the truth about them must not be concealed.
We remember the Polish heroes, who died tragically in the Smolensk tragedy of April 2010 – the late President Lech Kaczyński, First Lady Maria Kaczyńska, and the statesmen and civil servants who lost their lives on that terrible day. These were our friends, with whom we jointly strengthened the regional leadership of our countries, promoting mutual understanding and the sense of unity between the Lithuanian and Polish nations. As we commemorate this painful day, we join the Polish people in sympathy, like we did ten years ago. We will altogether pay tribute to the victims in silence and in prayer.
As we live in a time of extraordinary challenges that demand unity, we must continue to stand together against any attempts to rewrite history and spread disinformation. Our close cooperation will always remain an undisputed value,’ the letters by Mr Pranckietis and Mr Nekrošius read.
The letters were accompanied by the Resolution on Historical Revisionism Perpetrated by the Russian Federation adopted by the Seimas on Tuesday, 7 April 2020, whereby the Seimas expresses its support to Poland, Lithuania’s strategic partner, and other allied countries that the Russian Federation seeks to blame for having contributed to the outbreak of the Second World War. The Resolution condemns the historical revisionism and disinformation by the Russian Federation. The Resolution also calls on the European Parliament, the parliaments of Central and Eastern European countries, international organisations and the international community to refrain from condoning, and jointly oppose, the historical revisionism and disinformation perpetrated by the Russian Federation.
The mass killings of Polish military officers, policemen, intellectuals and civilian prisoners, which are known as the Katyn massacre, took place in spring 1940 in a forest in Russia near Smolensk. On 10 April 2010, a plane carrying the Polish President and other high-ranking officials of the country to the commemorative events of the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre crashed in the western part of Russia killing all 96 people on board.
Asta Markevičienė, Chief Specialist, Public Relations Unit, Information and Communication Department, tel. +370 5 239 6202, e-mail: [email protected]