Mikhail Tsikel, the deputy head of the Kaliningrad Regional administration, has held talks with a Lithuanian delegation in Kaliningrad on preserving cultural and language traditions. According to the administration's press service, the Lithuanian delegation included Arvidas Juozaitis, an advisor to the Prime Minister, Rimantas Vaitkus, the Deputy Minister for Education and Science, Antanas Piatrauskas, the general director of the Department for National Minorities and Emigration of the Lithuanian government, and Vitautas Zhalis, the Lithuanian Consul General in Kaliningrad.
There are currently over 18 thousand Lithuanians living in the Kaliningrad Region. 17 district, municipal and regional cultural organisations, Sunday schools, and Lithuanian language courses have been set up for them. Five schools in the region teach partly in Lithuanian.
Another example of Kaliningrad high regard for Lithuanians' cultural heritage is the museum devoted to the classic Lithuanian author Kristionas Donelaitis, which was set up 13 years ago in the town of Chistye Prudy and has recently been renovated. The museum has recently held a meeting of the Lithuanian and Kaliningrad intelligentsia as part of the Literature Days programme currently taking place in Kaliningrad.
According to the Lithuanian delegation, there are 120 Russian-language schools in Lithuania, as well as a network of playschools, cultural centres, and 57 public Russian national-cultural organisations. The delegation thanked the regional administration for it support for the efforts of Lithuanians living in the Kaliningrad Region to preserve their cultural traditions and language.
According to members of the delegation, it is essential that a Lithuanian-language boarding school be opened in the town of Sovetsk, which has the highest population of Lithuanians in the Kaliningrad Region. One of the issues which both sides were agreed on was to establish a Department of Lithuanian Language and Culture at Kaliningrad State University and open a Centre of Russian and Lithuanian Culture in Kaliningrad.
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