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Proclamation 6306—Baltic Freedom Day, 1991 and 1992

June 13, 1991

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

During the past year, the long struggle of the Baltic peoples to recover their freedom has been marked by both triumph and tragedy: triumph in their bold calls for liberty and independence; tragedy in the bloody calls for liberty and independence; tragedy in the bloody events of January 1991.

The United States and, indeed, all freedom-loving nations have long denounced the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact that led to the forcible incorporation of the independent Baltic States into the Soviet Union. The peoples of both the West and the Baltic States have continued to believe that the freedom of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia must and can be restored. Recent events suggest that our hopes have not been misplaced.

In peaceful, democratic referendums, the peoples of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have asserted overwhelmingly their desire for freedom. Toward that aim, they have sought to enter into meaningful negotiations with Moscow about their status. Despite the tragic events of January 1991, which resulted in the deaths of at least 21 Lithuanians and Latvians and many more injured, a dialogue between the Baltic governments and the Soviet Union has begun. We hope that it will bear fruit, and we urge the Soviet Union to move forward with the talks.

However, the United States remains deeply concerned over the continued application of intimidation and force by Soviet authorities. Such actions are incompatible with the process of peaceful change through fair and constructive negotiations.

The United States has never and will never recognize the forcible annexation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union. I reiterated this policy during my recent meeting with Lithuanian President Landsbergis, Estonian Prime Minister Savisaar, and Latvian Prime Minister Godmanis. This was my sixth meeting with the Baltic leadership during the past 12 months. The Administration will remain in close contact with the Baltic leadership in the months ahead.

As we commemorate "Baltic Freedom Day," we reaffirm our support for the right of the Baltic peoples to live in peace and freedom.

The Congress, by Public Law 102-17, has designated June 14, 1991, and June 14, 1992, as "Baltic Freedom Day" and has authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this event.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the days of June 14, 1991, and June 14, 1992, as Baltic Freedom Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe these days with appropriate ceremonies and activities to reaffirm their commitment to human rights and to freedom and democracy for all oppressed peoples.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this 13th day of June, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6306—Baltic Freedom Day, 1991 and 1992 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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