Moscow investigating legitimacy of Baltic independence

Kremlin demands investigation into status of legitimacy of independence of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from the Soviet Union

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A prosecutor from the Russian General’s Office has started an investigation into the legitimacy of the independence of the Baltic States as to whether or not the Soviet Union acted legally when it recognised their independence in 1991.

A request was submitted by two Duma members belonging to Vladimir Putin’s ruling United Russia party, Yevgeny Fedorov and Anton Romanov, who claimed the decision to recognise the Baltic States’ independence was  taken "by an unconstitutional body.” 

Russia's Prosecutor General's Office accepted an interpellation that had been previously made by several MPs.

Some United Russia MPs claim that The State Council itself was unconstitutional and its decisions illegitimate.

In their letter, the MPs say it was the State Council of the USSR that adopted the decision to recognise the independence of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which “discarded a large and strategically important part of the Soviet Union.”

The letter refers to the decisions of the State Council as “hugely damaging to the sovereignty, territorial integrity, national security and the Soviet Union’s defense,” which also has to be treated as “criminal acts” and “especially dangerous state crimes” that qualify as treason.

Linas Linkevicius, the Foreign Minister of Lithuania, said that the investigation of the Russian Prosecutor General Office's was as an "absurd provocation" adding that Moscow has lately been acting according to its own rules in the international arena.

"It is a political, moral, and legal absurdity. It calls for political explanations and should be treated as provocation to say the least," the minister told Elta in a telephone interview, the Baltic Course reported.

Lithuania is currently analyzing how it should respond to Moscow's actions.

"I believe that the opinion of our colleagues (from Latvia, Estonia, and European Union – Elta) could be very similar because the situation is rather non-standard," the foreign minister said.

Last week Russia's chief prosecutor declared the transfer of Crimea from Russia to Ukraine in 1954 “illegal.”

Russia expressed that past month will boost forces near to NATO borders and will position tactical Iskander missiles in Kaliningrad, an all-important enclave for Russia in the Baltics between Poland and Lithuania, if the US goes ahead with a build-up of tanks, artillery and other heavy equipment in Eastern Europe.

"Russia will have no other choice but to boost its military potential along its western borders," Russian General Yury Yakubov, a senior Defence Ministry official, told the Russian Interfax news agency.

Tension in Baltics were raised in March 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine with support from pro-Russian separatists via a controversial referendum to rejoin Russia - a move which was condemned internationally.

NATO and the US have scaled up their heavy armament in the Baltics region,thus threatening Russian security.

The three Baltic states, which have large ethnic Russian minorities, joined the EU and NATO in 2004.

TRTWorld and agencies