On May 22, Lithuania commemorated fifty years since the “Great Deportation,” when more than 40,000 Lithuanians were deported to Russia’s Siberian and Arctic regions. Overall, more than 300,000 Lithuanians were deported there from 1941 to 1953. Addressing a solemn session of the parliament, President Valdas Adamkus and Parliament Chairman Vytautas Landsbergis observed that the deportations had been planned in Moscow and executed by the “occupation authorities” in Lithuania as a “genocidal action.” The two leaders urged an effort to increase international awareness of this “war crime not subject to a statute of limitations.”
Landsbergis submitted a draft special resolution expressing the parliament’s hope that Russia, as the successor to the USSR, “would find the moral strength to face” the imprescriptible nature of those crimes and to assist in the prosecution of war criminals. (BNS, Russian agencies, May 22) The action in Vilnius follows the three Baltic presidents’ agreement at their recent summit (see The Monitor, May 13) to clarify these issues in response to Moscow’s anti-Latvian campaign.
THREE PRESIDENTS PLAN CLOSER POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC TIES.