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Public Papers - 1990

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on Lithuanian Independence


We have been urging a peaceful dialog to resolve this issue. The Soviets themselves have publicly and privately assured us that they have no intention of using military force to resolve the issue. We have also urged that neither side undertake any actions which could preclude the continuation of this dialog. It is incumbent that both sides maintain open communication and not take any actions that can be misinterpreted.

While I do not want to hypothesize on any eventual outcomes, it is clear that any efforts to coerce or intimidate the Lithuanian people is bound to backfire. Further actions will not lead to a lessening of the tensions, could have adverse international repercussions, and could be counterproductive for U.S.-Soviet relations.

Note: Press Secretary Fitzwater read the statement during his daily press briefing, which began at 10:02 a.m.

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