RIGA - The Latvian Foreign Ministry categorically rejects the statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin who said that the Baltic states' occupation was “implemented on a contractual basis, with the consent of the elected authorities”.
Putin said in his article "The Real Lessons of the 75th Anniversary of World War II" that "in autumn 1939, the Soviet Union, pursuing its strategic military and defensive goals, started the process of the incorporation of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Their accession to the USSR was implemented on a contractual basis, with the consent of the elected authorities. This was in line with international and state law of that time".
"The Baltic states were occupied and annexed illegally, using threat and military provocations. The USSR breached its international obligations and conducted an act of aggression. The nation's sovereign will was falsified in fake elections," the ministry said.
Putin said in his article that the Baltic republics within the USSR preserved their government bodies, language, and had representation in the higher state structures of the Soviet Union.
The Foreign Ministry said that the illusionary autonomy of the Baltic states was just a cover to the unlawful Soviet policy set by the Soviet Union and the Communist Party in Moscow.
The Foreign Ministry voiced regrets that today's Russian authorities still are not ready to assess the responsibility of the Soviet regime for War World II and numerous crimes against nations of Europe, Russia and the neighboring countries objectively.