Philippe Marcovici. “Lithuania: the birth of a nation”
Yesterday, Lithuania cut the last tie that linked it to the USSR. By proclaiming itself the Republic of Lithuania, unilaterally and without Soviets’ consent, and by adopting national symbols, embodied by the flag and the anthem, Lithuania threw off the colonial yoke. That is not only just, but is also the successful conclusion of a process that doubtless will have a ripple effect.
Bernard Lecomte. “The Baltic States: the wind of freedom”
The international community has met Lithuania's declaration of independence with reserve. A cautious, not very encouraging reception. Independence? What independence? Neither the United States, nor Great Britain, nor France wish to upset the number 1 person in the Soviet Union. The efforts throughout the world to protect Gorbachev seem almost pathetic. And the result is disappointing in the eyes of Lithuanians.
Because what is at issue in Lithuania is not only the righting of a historical injustice and the right of the people to self-determination. It is also Mr. Gorbachev's image abroad and also the future of reforms in the USSR. This image has been remarkably positive so far – much better than it is among the Soviets themselves – not without good reason.
Bernard Poirette. “I would like to see Russian tanks” ... Nothing has changed in the daily life of the Lithuanian capital, which exhibits a disconcerting calm
“Pardon me, Madam, could you tell me where the Parliament is?” Perhaps the Vilnius resident did not like the question being asked in Russian, which is still common in Lithuania ... “I don’t know,” she finally answers, in Russian, of course … Two weeks after the declaration of independence, the address of the Lithuanian Parliament is still not known by everyone in Vilnius.
Jean-Marcel Bouguereau. “Lithuania: Mitterrand is Daladier?”
Kohl and Mitterrand have requested that Lithuania give up not the declaration of independence, but its “consequences.” Is this hypocrisy? Double-dealing? No, it is a formal attempt to break the cycle of confrontation. Its aim is to find a way out where, without losing face, both Moscow and Vilnius could enter into negotiations before things get out of hand.