Prime Minister: the US policy of non-recognition of the occupation has consolidated the statehood of the Baltic states


2020 07 23

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Today marks the 80th anniversary of the United States’ refusal to recognize the occupation and annexation of the Baltic states. On 23 July 1940, the United States’ acting Secretary of State Sumner Welles issued a statement on the situation in the Baltic states and non-recognition of the occupation. With this statement, Washington laid the foundation for the US policy towards Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia throughout the Cold War.

‘I extend my greetings to all Lithuanian people at home and abroad, the Lithuanian community in the United States of America, and all supporters of the strategic partnership between Lithuania and the United States on a very important anniversary to Lithuania and the Baltic states: the 80th anniversary of the Welles Declaration. This declaration unequivocally condemned the occupation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union in 1940, and sent a strong signal to the international community that the United States would never recognize illegal occupation. At the same time, it laid the foundations for the preservation of Lithuania’s statehood until the restoration of independence in 1990,’ emphasized Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis.

According to the Prime Minister, the declaration was extremely important in 1940, yet it is no less important today, especially as some countries not only try to rewrite history and replace indisputable facts with fiction, but also take up armed aggression against other sovereign and independent states, hence violating the norms of international law and the fundamental principles of peaceful relations among states.