Lithuanian minister praises positive dynamics in relations with Russia.

27/7 Tass 266

VILNIUS, July 27 (Itar-Tass) —— The Russo- Lithuanian relations never pause in a practical field and are characterized by a positive dynamics, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius A·ubalis declared, commenting on bilateral contacts on a state and humanitarian level. Despite different assessments, made by the two countries of certain acute political moments of the past, in a practical field the Russo- Lithuanian relations have been developing steadily, the Lithuanian diplomat told Lithuanian national radio on Wednesday.

As an example, the foreign minister mentioned work on the demarcation of the Lithuanian- Russian border in the area of the Kaliningrad region. The border demarcation is of importance from a juridical point of view and to a certain extent from the point of view of national security, the Lithuanian minister said. The border demarcation will have been complete by the year’s end, he said.

The Lithuanian diplomat attaches equal importance to growing contacts in the humanitarian’s field. The number of Russia tourists – well-to-do and well- informed people, who are going on vacation to Lithuania, is as big as ever now, the minister said. “Would such people prefer Lithuania for vacation if there had been anti- Russian sentiments in Lithuania,” the diplomat asked rhetorically.

But, Lithuania does not intend to give up attempts to put on the agenda of bilateral relations the problem of compensations for damage inflicted by the Soviet occupation, the Lithuanian minister said. Lithuanian future foreign ministers must raise the problem of the compensations as envisaged in the results of a Lithuanian referendum and in a corresponding bill passed by the Lithuanian parliament, Audronius Azubalis said.

Nonetheless, public opinion polls conducted in Lithuania showed that more than 80 percent of the Lithuanian population do not believe that Vilnius will be able carry out its bill on compensations passed in 2000 either in a moral or financial form.

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