Fresh call for compensation cash

  • 2007-07-02
  • By Mike Collier

VILNIUS - A group of Lithuanian parliamentarians iscalling on Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas and Foreign MinisterPetras Vaitiekunas to increase efforts to secure compensation fromRussia for damage caused during the Soviet occupation.

The press service of the conservative Homeland Union groupingreported Monday that the government should try to involve the UnitedNations, the Council of Europe and the European Union in compensationclaims.

The parliamentarians claim Lithuanian society at large is far fromsatisfied with the current situation and claims to have collectedthousands of signatures to back up their stance.

The appeal was signed by representatives of the Conservatives, theLiberal Democrats, the Liberal Movement and one independent,totalling 22 of the Seimas' 141 members.

In June President Valdas Adamkus said Lithuaniashould not be afraid of reminding Russia of its compensation claims.

In 2000, the Seimas adopted a law on compensation obligingLithuania's government to enter into negotiations with Russia,as the successor to the Soviet Union. Lithuania has estimatedthe damages of 50 years of occupation at around 80 billion litas (23billion euros).

Russia has consistently refused to enter into any suchdiscussions, claiming that because it is a replacement for, ratherthan a successor to, the Soviet regime, it has no obligation to paycompensation.