Russian Prosecutor General's Office to examine legitimacy of Baltic States; Lithuania responds angrily

  • 2015-06-30
  • From wire reports and TBT staff, VILNIUS

According to Russian news agency Interfax, Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has opened an investigation into the legitimacy of the independence of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. 

The office will look into the whether decision made by the State Council of the USSR in 1991, to recognise the three Baltic States as independent was legal. 

A source related to the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office, has accepted an enquiry previously made by two members members of the Russian Duma (parliament) - Anton Romanov, and Yevgeny Fyodorov; both members of the United Russia party. 

According to the source, “the decision to recognise the Baltic States’ independence is legally harmful, as it was adopted by an unconstitutional body.”

He added the enquiry would be similar to the one the office made regarding the status of Crimea, in which it deemed the decision to transfer the peninsular to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954 illegal.

He then noted this recent move by the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office would not carry any legal consequences. 

“The Office of the Prosecutor General of Russia merely stated that the transfer of Crimea to Ukraine under Nikita Khrushchev was unconstitutional,” the source continued. “[Because] the decision was made by state bodies, which were not authorised to do so.”

On Tuesday June 30, 2015, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskate and Foreign Minister, Linas Linkevicius responded angrily to the Prosecutor General Office’s comments. 

“Our independence was gained through the blood and sacrifice of the Lithuanian people,” Grybauskaite responded on her Twitter account. “No-one has the right to threaten it, and only we will decide our fate.” 

Meanwhile, Linkevicius described the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office to investigate the decision of the USSR recognising the Baltic State’s independence is a “provocation at least” and “absurd.” 

“It is in fact legally, morally and politically absurd,” Linkevicius told news agency BNS. “Unfortunately, it’s not the first action of such nature recently. 

“How far they are going to go in this absurd situation will depend on Russia itself, and I also hope for Russia's political comments soon. 

Lithuania declared independence from the USSR on 11 March 1990. 

However, it took a year and a half for the Soviet Union to recognise Lithuania's cessation, which it did on 6 September 1991, following a failed coup in Moscow.

Leaders from Latvia and Estonia, both nations with a significantly higher ethnic Russian population than Lithuania, have yet to comment.