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National Archives

Public Papers - 1990

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on Lithuanian Independence


The Lithuanian people have freely expressed their intention to restore Lithuanian independence. The United States has consistently supported the Baltic people's right to peaceful self-determination. The United States notes that the Lithuanian Government has expressed its readiness to address all legitimate Soviet interests, including economic interests, during negotiations.

We also note repeated Soviet statements that negotiations, not force, are the proper course in this situation. We have called upon the Soviet Government to address its concerns and interests through immediate negotiations with the Government of Lithuania. We continue to urge a constructive dialog. This would be complicated by an atmosphere of intimidation and increasing tension.

In this regard, the activities and statements of the Soviet Government over the past few days are cause for concern. We are watching the situation closely.

Note: Press Secretary Fitzwater read the statement during his daily press briefing, which began at 12:08 p.m.

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