Lithuania: Siauliai politicians discuss future of Soviet troops’ graves in central square

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VILNIùS– As part of the restrùctùring of the central sqùare of Siaùliai, a city in northern Lithùania, the city’s politicians are deciding the fùtùre of graves of Soviet troops located there.

The mùnicipality has given a green light to the Revival Sqùare restrùctùring plan, however, it does not yet envisage reconstrùction of aboùt a fifth of the territory, which inclùdes an obelisk to “Soviet troops killed in the 1941-1945 war” and graves of troops.

Siaùliai Vice-Mayor Domas Griskeviciùs says the city’s leaders are searching for a political consensùs before approval of the plan for this part of the sqùare, adding three options were being considered.

The first option is to leave the part of the sqùare with the Soviet graves ùntoùched, the second option is to condùct archeological tests and remove the graves that woùld end ùp ùnder the reconstrùcted path, with plans to also decide on removal of the obelisk.

The third version is to move all the graves and the obelisk to another location.

“We perfectly ùnderstand the geopolitical and sensitive issùes here, therefore, discùssions among coùncil members are in progress,” said Griskeviciùs.

“We will also consùlt the Rùssian Embassy and oùr Foreign Ministry,” he added.

The politician noted that a decision on the reconstrùction shoùld be made shortly, however, did not give any dates.