Old website version during the term of office of President Rolandas Paksas (2003 02 26-2004 04 06)

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Address to the Nation by H. E. Mr. Rolandas Paksas, President of the Republic of Lithuania

2003.11.03


Dear people of Lithuania,

Tomorrow I am leaving for Brussels, where I shall introduce to the European Parliament the vision of Lithuania as a full member of the European Union. But I could not leave without evaluating the recent events in the country.

I welcome the formation of the parliamentary commission. I hope that it will objectively and honestly investigate the allegations that have been publicised. People are entitled to know the true situation in our country.

I do believe that the recent events mark a turning point.

Nomination of Gintaras Bagdonas, a young official of high professional integrity and Western views, also well acknowledged in Euro-Atlantic institutions, to the post of Director of the State Security Department was met with fierce opposition.

It is obvious that thus an enormous damage has been done to our state.

I do not exclude a possibility that this was an attempt to impair the rapid accession of Lithuania to the EU and NATO.

Successful advance of our state to a secure future cannot be slowed down. I am determined to support the process of Lithuania's progress by all means.

Realising that the current situation mostly harms Lithuanian foreign policy, I have spoken with the ambassadors of the EU and NATO member states today.

I assured them that Lithuania’s foreign policy priorities as well as strategic guidelines of its development do not and will not change. Our young state is facing a difficult test of democracy and statehood.

I hope that we shall pass it, acting on the principles of justice and human dignity.

My uncompromising position on abuse in distributing land plots, on discredited judges and diplomats, on felonious distribution of EU financial support and, finally, the nomination of the head of the State Security Department met furious resistance.

I see a fierce and long-term resistance that is difficult to account for.

I am utterly stunned that the report of the State Security Department was communicated to the Prime Minister and the President with a ten-day delay.

I completely dissociate myself from all the rumours that I might have been influenced by criminals.

I declare with full responsibility that I have not signed any agreement that could harm or violate the national interests and laws.

People of Lithuania know very well that I never sign any agreements that would cause damage to our national interests or violate the letter of the law.

Neither have I in any way violated the Constitution of Lithuania or its laws. I am only bound by my oath to the people of Lithuania.

I cannot accept responsibility for all that third persons had said during telephone conversations tapped by the State Security Department.

Also, I cannot accept that judgement is passed before investigation is completed. This practice of rushing to point to the guilty, regardless of the presumption of innocence, is unacceptable under the rule of law.

Dear compatriots,

I will not allow the shadows of suspicion to tarnish the institution of the President and, more importantly, our State.

If proof is presented that any of my advisors has violated the law or the code of conduct, I will dismiss them forthwith and they will answer to the law.

I take the experience of the recent days as a painful lesson and do regret that it also brings pain to you, dear people of Lithuania.

I call on everybody to make a rational judgement about the current situation.

I do hope that truth will inevitably be revealed and it will make us all stronger.

H.E. Mr. Rolandas Paksas, President of the Republic of Lithuania

Maintained by the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania. Please specify source when quoting.