Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 182

The Kremlin’s chief spokesman and foreign policy coordinator, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, announced yesterday that Lithuanian president Algirdas Brazauskas will pay an official visit to Russia on October 23-25 and will sign with Russian president Boris Yeltsin an agreement legalizing the existing border between the two countries. Yastrzhembsky disavowed as "legally invalid and politically harmful" the Duma’s September 26 resolution, which claimed Lithuania’s Memel/Klaipeda territory for Russia and also urged some other changes to the draft Russian-Lithuanian border agreement (see Monitor, September 30).

According to Yastrzhembsky, the territory in question and some other areas that belonged to Germany until 1945 were attached to Lithuania by a decree of the USSR Supreme Soviet in 1950, and form a part of Lithuania’s internationally recognized territory. Claims to that territory risk "destabilizing the situation" and "jeopardizing the principle of inviolability of existing borders," Yastrzhembsky stated. He cited Russia’s territorial integrity and interests in the Kaliningrad region as a priority of Moscow’s policy in the Baltic region. (Russian agencies, September 30) In that region, the former Koenigsberg, Moscow is vulnerable to some of the same arguments invoked by the Duma against Lithuania.

The Kremlin’s statement seems finally to clear the way for the Lithuanian president’s long-postponed visit and for the signing of post-Communist Russia’s first border agreement with a country that was part of the USSR. It also will encourage Estonia and Latvia to hope that Moscow may remove the artificial obstacles it has placed on the negotiations toward border treaties with those two Baltic countries. Russia’s Foreign Ministry has been handling the negotiations with all three states.

Nemtsov Attacks Lukashenka for Disregarding Union.