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Lithuania

Volume 171: debated on Tuesday 1 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about Her Majesty's Government's policy on the future status of Lithuania.

The people of Lithuania have made clear their wish to determine their own future. We are urging, and will continue to urge, the Soviet authorities and Lithuanians to begin purposeful negotiations aimed at a settlement acceptable to both sides which will satisfy the aspirations of the Lithuanian people.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with other EEC member states concerning action to be taken in support of self-determination for Lithuania.

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs attended a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the EC member states in Dublin on 21 April. They issued a joint statement which was conveyed to the Soviet Government and to the Ukranians, and was published. The text is as follows:

The Community and its member states express their serious concern at the economic measures recently introduced by Moscow in relation to Lithuania. They believe that measures of a coercive nature can make no contribution to the search for a solution through dialogue. They underline the obligation to exercise maximum restraint and to avoid actions that can only lead to a further deterioration of the situation. They are firmly of the view that an outcome acceptable to all must be sought and that this is possible only by means of discussion. They call on all concerned not to carry through measures which are in consistent with this objective. In view of their serious concern at these developments, the Community and its member states intend to keep the situation and its policy implications under continuous review. A Working Group meeting for this purpose will be held in the near future.
The Secretary of State and his colleagues reviewed the situation during the informal EC summit on 28 April.