"Apologizing is not a bad habit... It always helps, and I believe it also helps between countries," the minister told the European Voice, adding that the words of apology came spontaneously.
"The most important point is that we have to build a strategic partnership. We have to do it for the sake of our countries, not just Lithuania but also Poland, with all respect to (its) size – ten times larger!” said Linkevičius.
In an interview to the Polish media during a visit to Poland in February, Linkevičius apologized for a contretemps in 2010 when, as the late Polish President Lech Kaczynski was visiting the Baltic state, Lithuanian lawmakers rejected legislation that would have allowed the country's Polish-speaking citizens to use the Polish spelling of their names in their passports.
The apology drew critical reactions from President Dalia Grybauskaitė and Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius.