Vilnius to mark 81 years since US declaration condemning Soviet occupation of Baltics

  • 2021-07-22
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – A celebration will be held in Vilnius' Vasingtono Aikste (Washington Square) on Thursday to mark the 81th anniversary of the Sumner Welles Declaration that condemned the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states. 

This event is to thank the United States, an ally and partner of Lithuania, for its policy of non-recognition of the occupation, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release. 

On July 23, 1940, Acting US Secretary of State Sumner Welles issued an official statement refusing to recognize the annexation of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by the Soviet Union. The document marked the beginning of the US policy of non-recognition of the occupation of the Baltic nations.  

"The Sumner Welles Declaration is an excellent symbol of the unity of the Baltic States and the United States, condemning the Soviet aggression of 1940 and not recognizing the forcible and illegal incorporation of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia into the Soviet Union, as part of the Molotov-Ribbentrop conspiracy," Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said.