“No, My Friends, We Won’t Go Slow”. The Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence in the Pages of the World Press in 1990

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    January 18, 1990

    Report by Vincent Ledauc. “Turmoil in Lithuania: Switzerland supports independence!”


    Lithuania is at the center of the shock wave which is rocking the Soviet Empire ... Vincent Ledauc met with Mr. Narcissus Prielaida, representative to the UN of Sąjūdis, Lithuanian liberation movement and of the alliance of Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). We point out that Lithuania was no longer represented in our country after the brutal closure of embassy and consulate in Berne and Zurich upon the demand of the Soviet Union. Such action ... is regrettable and it seems that the situation has not been remedied as yet.

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    March 12, 1990

    Gilbert Salem. “A six century old civilization: the resurrection of the Lithuanian state”


    The Litovskaia SSR is no more, long live free Lithuania! The primarily Catholic Lithuania, the first of the three Baltic States to withdraw from the Union, counts on its venerable six-hundred year-old civilization. Today, it is somewhat larger than Switzerland, yet at the beginning of the fifteenth century, it covered a vast territory equivalent to three times that of France.


    Salem's blog (in French)

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    March 13, 1990

    Gilbert Salem. “The Lithuanians speak out”


    Mr. Michael Pache, the representative of the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, points out that until 1940, Switzerland maintained diplomatic relations with the Baltic countries, and “never recognized their Soviet annexation de jure.” Was the question of de facto recognition ever raised? Bound by diplomatic discretion, Mr. Pache only noted that “The question of the principle and of the modalities of the attainment of independence declared on Sunday will be the object of negotiations between Lithuanian and Soviet authorities. Switzerland will take a position, taking into account the results of these negotiations.”


    Salem's blog (in French)

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    March 30, 1990

    Report by Armand Gaspard. “Vilnius hopes to open a permanent legation in Geneva”


    After the declaration of independence of March 11, 1990, the Lithuanian Parliament dispatched to Switzerland Mr. Arūnas Degutis, one of the recently elected deputies listed by the Democratic Party ... The question of the Lithuanian gold deposited in Zurich just before the Soviet occupation is particularly instructive ... Mr. Degutis is happy with the reliability of the banks, while noting that the problem of the 1,203 kilograms of gold being kept in Switzerland was not touched upon during the conversations in Berne.

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    April 4, 1990

    Pierre-André Krol. “Help us!”


    Are the Lithuanians wrong in not waiting, as certain commentators here claim? Is their new president, Vytautas Landsbergis, a professor of music at the Vilnius Conservatory, lacking in political maturity? He is supported by almost all of the Parliamentarians and the majority of the population; he is opposed only by some Communists who remain faithful to Moscow and by a part of the Russian minority.