Baltic Timeline

  • 2002-07-25
Ten years ago

The fourth government since Lithuania declared independence in 1990 is formed in Vilnius with Aleksandras Abisala taking over from Gediminas Vagnorius as prime minister. Abisala promises no major deviations in policy and pledges to keep up economic reforms, including a liberal trade policy.

Lithuania postpones the decision to introduce its national currency, the litas, falling behind Baltic neighbors Latvia and Estonia, who have already launched the lat and the kroon. Outgoing Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius blames the national bank for failing to print the new money on schedule.

A rally in support of Riga's ex-Mayor Alfreds Rubiks, the former first secretary of Latvia's Communist Party, demands his immediate release from prison. Rubiks was jailed for participating in the failed Soviet coup in August 1991.

Estonians attempt to takeover a Russian garrison's construction department in Tallinn on July 27. A Russian officer and an employee of the department are wounded. Russian soldiers blame the injuries on the Estonian soldiers, while the Estonians say the Russians injured their own in the confusion.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin issues a decree calling for the establishment of customs posts on Russia's borders with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Just one week earlier, the first Russian troops began patrolling the Baltic borders in what Yeltsin called the first stage of "setting up the border."

Five years ago

Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis asks Economy Minister Guntars Krasts to form a new government in the wake of Prime Minister Andris Skele's resignation. Skele's tumultuous reign at the head of a coalition government finally comes to an end after chronic in-fighting and corruption accusations among coalition partners.

Former Estonian Defense Minister Ulo Uluots, charged with helping to build independent Estonia's military from scratch in 1992, dies of cancer. He was 67. Uluots, son of prewar Estonian Prime Minister Juri Uluots, was one of the architects of Estonia's military reform and its policy of seeking NATO membership.

An audit of the state-owned Latvian Shipping Company uncovers 1996 operating losses of $35.5 million, prompting speculation about whether the company is able to emerge from the economic doldrums.

"Donnie Brasco," "Men in Black" and "Liar, Liar" are among the movies playing at theaters in the Baltics.