• May 29, 2012
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‘Moskowskije Nowosti’: Lithuania took part in the partition of Poland in 1939

While criticizing Lithuania for its financial claims against Russia for the Soviet occupation, ‘Moskowskije Nowosti’ pointed out that in 1939 Lithuania was ‘the third country – alongside the Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union – which took part in the partition of Poland.

‘Back in October 1939 independent Lithuania was pleased to receive Vilnius and the Vilnius region as a gift from the USSR, which gained the aforementioned territory on the strength of the Molotov-Rippentrop Pact. As a compensation Lithuania agreed to deploy a (soviet) contingent of  20,000 soldiers on its territory. In this way independent Lithuania became in 1939 the third country – alongside the Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union – which took part in the partition of Poland – states the Russian newspaper.

‘Lithuania rightly condemned the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact already in 1989, but its historical justice does not reach so far as to return the land to its rightful owner – Poland. It also does not deter Lithuania from continuing the discriminatory policy against Poles living in this region, which is criticized by the human rights activists in the European Union’ – add ‘Moskowskije Nowosti’.

In the view of the daily newspaper, Lithuania’s claims should be treated according to the rule ‘give as good as you get’. ‘We adjust to the absurd logic that was created on the banks of the Niemen and count up, who owes what to whom’ – explains the newspaper.

‘Moskowskije Nowosti’ stress that ‘the contemporary Republic of Lithuania left the USSR in 1991 with the territory that was about one-third bigger than the territory with which it was annexed in 1940 by the Soviet Union”.

‘This fact does not allow to regard the claims of the Lithuania’s establishment, which declares that today’s Lithuania is the pre-war state which regained its independence, as true. Today’s Lithuania is composed of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic territory, but from the postwar period’ – says the newspaper, emphasizing that Lithuania ‘takes its time over giving the obtained land back to the occupants’.

‘Moskowskije Nowosti’ remind that ‘while being already a part of of the USSR Lithuania received the south-west Vilkaviškis district municipality, which initially (on the strength of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) fell to the Third Reich and which in January 1941 was redeemed from the Germans by the Soviet government’. As a further example the daily newspaper mentions Klaipėda and its sorroundings, ‘joined to Lithuania in 1950 by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union’.

‘Moskowskije Nowosti’ notice that the latter region was ‘cut off’ from the Kaliningrad Oblast, which was a part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR). ‘In order to hand over the territory of the one republic to the other, a consent of Supreme Soviets of both republics was needed which had to be confirmed by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. The RSFSR did not agree to the handover. Hence, the case is not closed yet’ –  states the newspaper.

‘Moskowskije Nowosti’ inform that the committee appointed by the Lithuanian government whose aim is to measure the damage done to Lithuania caused by the many years of the Soviet occupation should prepare a set of documents for negotiations with the Kremlin until mid-June.

‘Will the Kremlin agree to such negotiations is a rhetorical question. But it definitely needs to   let off steam symetrically – points out the newspaper in the article under the title ‘The Vilnius calculation’.


Tłumaczenie Milena Jajkowska w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Milena Jajkowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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