Press releases 


Speaker of the Seimas: relations between Lithuania and Russia should be developed in the spirit inspired by Boris Yeltsin

Press release, 27 August 2012



After her meeting with Naina Yeltsina, widow of the former Russian President Boris Yeltsin, Irena Degutienė, Speaker of the Seimas, argues that the Lithuanian-Russian relations should be based on the spirit inspired by Boris Yeltsin.

“Lithuanians know the Russian nation well and are well aware of how sincere the Russian people are in general. I think the late President Boris Yeltsin contributed to this perception significantly. We genuinely hope that both current and future cooperation between Lithuania and Russia will be based on the relations inspired by the revival period and the personality of Boris Yeltsin. We must understand that Lithuanians, Russians, and other nations were equally affected by the brutality of criminal regimes. With this in mind, we need to move forward,” Degutienė said.

Naina Yeltsina commended this approach expressed at the top level and hoped it would result in greater interaction and communication between the two countries and their people.

“Boris Yeltsin always felt profound respect for the leaders and people of Lithuania and other Baltic States. In continuation of this tradition, we need to jointly work towards better relations between the two nations and this work should start from the top official leadership. However, we must do everything sincerely. After today’s visit to Vilnius, I definitely will work for the benefit of Lithuania in my country”, Yeltsina said*.

She also recalled that when Yeltsin had learned about the 13 January 1991 aggression in Lithuania, he tried to stop the bloody assault. Having failed to do so, he made the decision to go to Tallinn. According to Yeltsin’s widow, he resisted all dissuasions against visiting the Baltic States by saying, “There are our people dying there for freedom. I must stop this”.

The Speaker of the Seimas and Naina Yeltsina agreed that, after the refurbishment of the Exhibition Gallery of the Seimas, the Parliament will be able to host an exhibition to commemorate Yeltsin’s 80th anniversary.

*On 27 August 2012, Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of the Republic of Lithuania, presented the Grand Cross of the Order of the Cross of Vytis, awarded posthumously to the first Russian President Boris Yeltsin, to his widow Naina Yeltsina.


Secretariat of the Speaker of the Seimas,

Juozas Ruzgys, Adviser to Speaker of Seimas, tel: + 370 5 2396023; + 370 698 42073


© Office of the Seimas