Jarosław Kaczyński, the controversial leader of Poland’s conservative Law and Justice party, asked not to be awarded a top Lithuanian state award, sources told BNS on Thursday.
At the initiative of Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis, the Lithuanian government proposed in October last year to award Kaczyński for strengthening relations between the two neighboring nations. Read more: Lithuanian president yet to approve state award to Poland’s Kaczyński
The Polish leader, however, was not included in the list of awardees on February 16 when Lithuania handed out the awards during the Independence Restoration Day. The final decision on state awards are made by the president.
Antanas Bubnelis, spokesman for the Lithuanian president, said the Council for the State Awards did not make a decision on Kaczyński, without providing any further arguments.
The Polish daily Rzecpospolita reported on Thursday that Kaczyński sticks to the rule of not accepting awards as a serving politician.
Sources within the Law and Justice party told the daily that Kaczyński didn’t want “to cause inconveniences” for the Lithuanian side.
The news was confirmed to BNS by several independent sources in Lithuania.
The Lithuanian government nominated Kaczyński for the state award four days before Poland’s parliamentary election. Read more: Lithuanian PM proposes top state award to Poland’s controversial leader Kaczyński
Last year, Skvernelis proposed to award Kaczyński for his “outstanding merits” in developing Lithuanian–Polish relations, as well as for the help integrating “Lithuania and the whole Baltic region into Western military and energy security structures”.