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Lithuanian paper lashes out at minister for speaking Russian at int’l conference

February 28, 2015, 16:35 UTC+3 VILNIUS
Language is not an instrument of state policy and the official status of Russian at WHO allows its use there," Salaseviciute said
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VILNIUS, February 29. /TASS/. A Lithuanian media outlet has lashed out at the country’s Healthcare Minister Rimante Salaseviciute for speaking Russian in the course of a discussion at an international conference in Spain.

Lietuvos rytas, the largest daily in the country, said in its report the conference was devoted to struggle with atmospheric pollution.

"Salaseviciute does not feel awkward in connection with the fact she resorted to the language of a country hostile to Lithuania and she doesn’t think she might have inflicted damage on Lithuania’s interests this way," the daily said in an article, the author of which withdrew his full name and signed the article only by initial capital letters.

Russian is an official language of the World Health Organization, under the auspices of which the forum was held.

"Language is not an instrument of state policy and the official status of Russian at WHO allows its use there," Salaseviciute said.

Apart from Russian, she also speaks German but is not fluent enough a speaker to be able to use it in a discussion.

"I think it would look ridiculous if I spoke Lithuanian there and demanded a special translation for me," Salaseviciute said.

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