On Tuesday, President Gitanas Nausėda attended a debate at the Presidential Palace held to commemorate the official condemnation of the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact on the Christmas Eve in 1989 and review the significance of those events for Lithuania’s struggle for independence.
During the opening of the debate The Struggle of Lithuanians’ for the State and Historical Truth: the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact 1939–1989–2020 organized in cooperation with the Institute of International Relations and Political Science of Vilnius University, the President emphasized that the secret agreements between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany resulted in calamities for Lithuania and its people for many decades: occupations, mass killings, deportations, expropriation of property, repressions, restriction of rights and freedoms.
“The consequences of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact had stayed with us for many decades like a very bad dream. However, the infamous agreements between two totalitarian regimes also gave rise to a powerful force of resistance", said the President as he welcomed the participants of the debate hosted by the Presidential Palace: signatories of the Act of Independence Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis, Zita Šličytė, Egidijus Bičkauskas and Emanuelis Zingeris
According to the President, historical memory fostered by the émigré community and the dissidents in Lithuania for long decades revolved around the truth about the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols helped us to break down the walls of the Jail of the Nations of the Soviet Union.
“As they stood together by the monument to Adomas Mickevičius, in Vingis Park and in the Baltic Way, Lithuanians openly declared that lies had to be dispersed, injustice had to stop and all of us deserved to be free. This far-away dream was finally turned into reality”, said the President calling the Resolution of the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Soviet Union of December 24, 1989 On the Political and Legal Assessment of the 1939 German-Soviet Pact of Non-Aggression one of the greatest diplomatic victories paved the way to the restoration of independence.
The President stressed that the decision of the supreme institutions of the Soviet Union to recognize the existence of the secret agreements and condemn them gave us hope that independent Russia would be able to admit its mistakes, learn from them and built its relations with smaller neighbors on the principles of national self-determination and mutual respect.
“Regrettably, today we have to acknowledge that a new political culture did not take root in our big neighbor’s soil. Authoritarian and revanchist forces - that are not disgusted by the criminal agreements of Stalin and Hitler – have returned to power in Russia. The secret protocols – made public by enormous efforts – are once again camouflaged by a thick veil of lies and disinformation”, the President said.
The President reminded that under tense geopolitical circumstances Lithuania can rely on its allies. The virtual exhibition to be opened in a week, on December 22, in tribute to historical memory and struggle for statehood in the Center for Civil Education also proves this fact. Along the historic documents and archival photos, the facsimiles of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols will be featured at the virtual exhibition which German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to hand over to Lithuania at the President’s request.
“I see it not only as a token of our close bilateral relationship, but also as a message of shared interest to stop the rise of revisionism”, the President said.
Last updated 2020.12.16 11:28Back