Lithuania: Vilnius wants reparations for Soviet occupation
30 May 2012
A commission charged with evaluating the damages inflicted on Lithuania by being annexed by the Soviet Union (1941-1991) was created by the government, a few months before scheduled legislative elections. Vilnius intends to request reparations from Moscow for fifty years of "occupation". A law passed in 2000 already committed the government to obtaining reparations from Moscow, the Lithuanian daily Lietuvos Rytas notes. In recent years, Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite promised to improve relations with Russia. "But Lithuania's foreign policy was both passive and confrontational," the paper's leader writer says, adding –
It is a shame that, in recent years, Russia has refused to recognise the terms of the agreement achieved at the time of president Boris Yeltsin and that it denies ever more strongly the occupation of Lithuania by the Soviets [...] It is nonetheless difficult to dissipate the feeling that the creation of the commission is but a show of activity aimed at hiding the inactivity of the conservative government and to please voters who sincerely hope for historical justice and compensation for the misfortune inflicted on Lithuania. [...] To face the painful Soviet past, one must simply wait for a more auspicious political climate in Russia.