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The political leaderships in the three Baltic states are considering raising the issue of compensation for the "Soviet occupation" during all negotiations involving Russia
The political leaderships in the three Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) are considering raising the issue of compensation for the "Soviet occupation" during all negotiations involving Russia, a governmental newspaper in Russia, Rossiiskaya Gazeta, reported today. "It is a common issue," Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas told national radio in his homeland. "If we all raise this issue and search for ways to reach an agreement with Russia as the successor to the Soviet Union, we may achieve some results." He is convinced that the compensation issue cannot be resolved through resolutions. "Such issues are resolved during negotiations, meetings, through agreements, and with the involvement of the international organizations that both Lithuania and Russia belong to," the premier said. The radio interview coincided with the 64th anniversary of the first deportation of people from the Baltic republics to Siberia and with the anniversary of Lithuania's accession to the Soviet Union. In 2000, the Lithuanian parliament enacted a law demanding compensation for the damage caused by the Soviet occupation. Parliament instructed the government to evaluate the damage, form a delegation for negotiations and approach Russia. Part of the work is now over, as a special committee determined that Russia should pay Lithuania more than 20 billion euros in compensation. In response to the Lithuanian premier's comments, Mikhail Margelov, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, said they fitted the tactics of small attacks designed to put Russia on the defensive, and also to hinder cooperation between Russia and the European Union. "A former communist from Lithuania is attempting to excite a predator's interest among Eastern European countries that fell under Soviet influence as a result of the Yalta agreements," he said. "According to this logic, the United States should have provided additional compensation to the Western European countries on top of the money provided under the Marshall Plan." The senator continued that Russia could ignore this new attempt to get money from nothing because parties have to agree on at least something before they can start arguing. Margelov said small countries often had delusions of grandeur. "It is a dangerous disease when a mouse pretends to be a cat and swallows itself," the committee chairman said.
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