Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte called for Polish to become the most popular second foreign language in the country's schools instead of Russian.

She stated this in an interview on radio Znad Wilii.

“I think it's a good choice.

I would like the second foreign language after the first (English) to be Polish, not Russian, - the Delfi portal quotes her words.

“I am in favor of having as much Polish as possible in schools.

I think this is where you can try and do something.

After all, there are certainly teachers, for example, those who taught in small Polish schools, which, perhaps, can be merged, then these teachers will be able to teach Polish in Lithuanian schools.”

Simonyte also claims that in the society of the republic "there is a certain intoxication with Russian culture."

In December, Dainoras Lukas, adviser to the head of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, said on the air of the national radio LRT that up to 68% of students choose Russian as a second foreign language in Lithuanian schools.

Jurgita Šiugždinienė, Minister of the Department, called this fact “abnormal” and called for more active work with the parents of schoolchildren in order to convince them to influence the situation.

Later that month, Shyugzhdinene announced the Ministry of Education's plans to "reverse the pyramid of choice" of Russian as a second foreign language from the current figure to 30%.

Earlier, against the backdrop of a wave of Russophobia due to the events in Ukraine, Shyugzhdinene announced in August 2022 that her department intends to abandon Russian language lessons in Lithuanian and Polish schools.

In such educational institutions, the Russian language is not included in the compulsory program, but it can be chosen at will as a second foreign language.

For her part, Educational Adviser to the President of Lithuania Jolanta Urbanovich told Zinius radijas in November that Vilnius should gradually stop teaching Russian as a second foreign language.

According to the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of Lithuania, Russian as a second foreign language remains the most popular among secondary school students: in the 2022 academic year, almost 15,000 sixth graders chose it.

“Of course, the current situation may not inspire optimism, but we cannot expect a very drastic change, because there is a former choice of students, the continuity of education should be ensured,” Urbanovich quotes Delfi.

After this statement was made, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda stressed that the teaching of the Russian language in schools is not a priority and more attention should be paid to the official languages ​​of the EU countries.

Russia has repeatedly criticized the course of the Baltic countries, in particular Lithuania, to discriminate against their population, who speaks Russian as their mother tongue.

So, in August 2022, the Russian Foreign Ministry

stated that the “unprecedented, essentially close to fascist” campaign launched by the authorities of these states to persecute their own Russian-speaking residents, “which has long gone beyond the legal framework and norms of behavior of civilized countries, now, it seems, has already thoroughly entrenched itself beyond common sense and humanity” .

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation


“Russian-language schools, kindergartens and curricula are being liquidated, which significantly limits the right to receive education in their native language for the Russian-speaking minority,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Latvian script

Recall that in addition to Lithuania, even more significant discrimination against the Russian-speaking population is observed in Latvia.

So, in this republic, from September 2023, students of the first, fourth and seventh grades will receive education only in the Latvian language.

From 2024, the second, fifth and eighth grades will be taught according to a similar scheme, and a year later - in the third, sixth and ninth grades.

As former President of Latvia Valdis Zatlers stated in August 2022, speaking on the air of Latvijas Radio 4, the transition of schools from Russian to Latvian is, in his words, a “planned process”.

He acknowledged that teachers oppose such a transition.

Zatlers noticed that a third of his grandson's classmates are children from Russian-speaking families.

In the same month, the official website of the President of Latvia ceased to support the Russian language - the page became available only in Latvian and English.

In the office of the head of the republic, they tried to explain such a decision by the fact that the issue of communication of state administration in Russian had allegedly become “very sensitive” due to the conduct of the NWO by Russia.

After that, the Ministry of Education and Science of Latvia announced plans to allow, from the 2026/27 academic year, to choose as a second foreign language in schools only the languages ​​of the EU countries or those states with which the republic has signed intergovernmental agreements in the field of education.

The Russian language is not included in this list.

In December, the President of Latvia, Egils Levits, called the decision to translate all educational institutions into the Latvian language a historic step.

“The current disunity ... does not lead to good.

Therefore, this is a truly historic step, ”the LSM portal quotes a statement from the President of Latvia.

"Drive the Russian language underground"

As Vladimir Olenchenko, a senior researcher at the Center for European Studies at IMEMO RAS, noted in an interview with RT, the statements of the Lithuanian prime minister about the desire to popularize the Polish language and bring it to the fore instead of Russian look “rather clumsy and intrusive.”

“This is discrimination.

These artificial attempts are even more bizarre given the fact that the choice shown by the people of Lithuania, especially the younger generation and teenagers, suggests that they are interested in learning the Russian language.

Most of the population of the republic speaks Russian, it is the language of the UN, it opens up wider spaces for Lithuanian youth in terms of getting an education and choosing a job than the same Polish, the use of which is very limited, ”the expert said.

According to Olenchenko, coming up with such initiatives aimed at limiting the use of the Russian language, the Lithuanian leadership once again "shows its Russophobic approach."

“The Prime Minister of Lithuania, for example, is known for her anti-Russian rhetoric and her desire to play along with the American agenda.

Let me remind you that Washington is trying to build an independent center of power in Europe out of Poland.

And apparently, within the framework of these aspirations, an attempt is being made by Vilnius to raise the popularity of the Polish language, and Russian - to reduce.

So the Lithuanian authorities want to kill two birds with one stone: to annoy Russia and help the United States.

But it is unlikely that they will succeed, since among the population there is no great desire to learn Polish, ”the analyst noted.

  • Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte


  • © Hennadii Minchenko/Keystone Press Agency

Such discrimination against Russian-speaking residents will lead to an additional outflow of the population from Lithuania, Olenchenko is sure.

“In the republic, from which many are already striving to leave, a more intense depopulation will begin.

However, Vilnius is unlikely to stop its Russophobic actions because of this.

I will not be surprised that in Lithuania, as well as in Latvia, they will begin to put obstacles in the activities of private schools where instruction is conducted in Russian.

Roughly speaking, they will start driving the Russian language underground.

Russian-speaking families, of course, will teach their children the Russian language, but already at home, ”the expert emphasized.

Boris Mezhuev, an associate professor at Moscow State University, shares a similar opinion.

According to him, over time, teaching in Russian may be completely banned in Lithuania.

“Vilnius is interested in eliminating everything Russian, including schools.

Lithuania, like other Baltic countries, is an outpost of the West's struggle with Russia under the leadership of the United States.

Vilnius began to act more actively, following the common Baltic specifics, which boils down to the fact that hatred of the Russian language is already an integral part of the general cultural and political reputation, ”the analyst said in a comment to RT.

At the same time, according to tradition, Lithuania's next steps to discriminate against the Russian-speaking population in the European Union and Brussels will turn a blind eye, Mezhuev stressed.

“Moreover, in the current conditions of total Russophobia in the West, in the same European Parliament or in other structural units of the association, Lithuania’s measures to oppress Russian speakers will prefer not to notice and not react to it in any way.

They will blame everything on the fight against “aggressive” Russia, which is already taken for granted in the EU, ”the expert concluded.