TALLINN - Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius convened for an informal meeting on the Estonian island of Saaremaa on Aug. 23, releasing a joint statement dedicated to the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, reports LETA.
“Today is the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism. Today the world commemorates the victims of the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century,” said the prime ministers.
“On Aug. 23, 1939, the Soviet Union led by Joseph Stalin and the German Reich ruled by Adolf Hitler entered into a secret pact to divide and conquer Europe. These totalitarian regimes occupied freedom-loving European nations and a reign of terror was unleashed,” said the prime ministers.
“Communism and Nazism took the lives of millions of people. In the Baltic States, no families were left untouched by the violence of these malicious regimes. Misery affected all ethnic and social groups.”
“Today we remember the victims of totalitarian regimes and honor those who fought against tyranny and oppression. We also commemorate the most vivid expression of the Baltic nations’ desire for freedom. On Aug. 23, 1989, two million people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania stood hand-in-hand in the Baltic Way from Vilnius through Riga to Tallinn in order to demand the restoration of their independence, which had been robbed by the Soviet regime. Our peaceful aspiration for freedom was stronger than Soviet might, because justice was on our side,” the prime ministers say in the statement.