Amidst what was ostensibly an interview about Lithuania’s “stance on Europe and their stable economy,” Kubilius took the chance to equate 20th-century Russian/Soviet political dominance with 21st-century hoops. The exchange went like this:
RT.com: But still Lithuania is very skeptical and cautious about any decision that comes out of Russia. When you think about it – the interests our two countries don’t really clash, either economically or politically, so why are you so cautious about Russia?
Kubilius: Well, you know, we had sometimes very interesting and I should say sometimes very difficult history. If to look back into starting from, you know, end of 18th Century – we were suffering because of how Russia was behaving in this region and we are very sensitive of course, but we see very good progress and very positive signals, and I think the relations between Lithuania and Russia can be very practical, very pragmatic. And especially if we are able to win the [FIBA Eurobasket 2011] European basketball championship in Vilnius next year against Russia! So, everything will be OK.
Anyone still wondering why hoops are so important in Lithuania?