Lithuania will continue to seek compensation from Russia for damage caused by the “Soviet occupation”. This statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Audronius Azubalis confirms the anti-Russian foreign policy of this Baltic State. Its leaders accuse the Soviet Union, which has sunk into oblivion, in the “crimes” against the people of Eastern Europe and equate Nazi Germany and the USSR.
Of course, Russia too can cause proceedings of the honor and dignity of its people, who gave 25 million lives to save the world from fascism. But as they say, God sees everything anyway…
Having stated the need of Moscow’s paying money damages (assessed by the official Vilnius at as much as nearly $30 billion), the head of the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry noted that this requirement is “not to compete with anyone in the number of injuries or casualties but because of human duty”. “Restoration of justice and memory of the crimes of totalitarianism is one of the main priorities of Lithuania's foreign policy,” he added.
If the issue of fairness and justice is touched upon, it is worth talking more about it. First, we would remind that the Baltic republics affiliation into the USSR in 1940 took place in full compliance with applicable legislation if these republics. In addition, the declaration of independence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in the early 1990s was approved and officially adopted by the parliaments elected by the laws of the Soviet Union and headed by the Soviet (“occupation") administration, and therefore - the legitimacy of the declaration of independence of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia is equal to the legitimacy of the Soviet "occupation" authorities of the Republics accepted them. Moreover, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia on default recognize the "occupation" certificates of education, labour experience, professional and academic qualifications, civil status (marriage, divorce, birth and death), private property and inheritance rights.
But it is, so to speak, a formal aspect of the matter. But there is another aspect to the problem concerned. Is it fair to ignore the fact that the extremely backward before 1940 in the industrial, and some other relations, Baltic republics, only being members of the Soviet Union, were able to overcome their low level (let's face it - they were on the outskirts of European civilization), and to succeed in development of industry, agriculture, education system, health care, and other vital areas.
For the needs of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia large funds were appropriated from the Union budget, sometimes even surpassing the real needs of these republics. Everything was done for their speedy economic development, so that people feel as soon as possible the opportunities the Soviet system provided millions of ordinary people. Specialists from different cities of the Soviet Union were sent to the Baltic States to help build industrial, agricultural, health, social and cultural facilities, to arrange their work.
As a result of the efforts of the whole country, in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, there were modern electronic, electrical and radio industry enterprises. The largest in the Baltic, Port of Tallinn was built, which, incidentally, now completes more than half the budget of Estonia. The same can be said of the Lithuanian Klaipeda - one of the largest ice-free ports in the Baltic Sea, the whole country helped Lithuania to build. Now too Klaipeda brings considerable income. It was during the Soviet period that the Baltics were covered with an extensive network of various health institutions - sanatoria, holiday houses, boarding houses and hotels, camping sites, holiday camps, which are now operating, playing host to thousands of tourists from different countries. Tourism has become an important budget item of the Baltic States. How many sports facilities - stadiums, swimming pools, playgrounds and sports hall, tennis courts and sports palaces were built here through joint efforts of residents of Moscow, Leningrad, Sverdlovsk, representatives of many other cities and republics of the USSR.
One can not but recall the fact that it is Lithuania that received from the Soviet power the first national nuclear power plant - Ignalina, which gave the country the energy sufficient status, and even allowed providing its neighbors with electricity, considerably adding to the budget. With the appearance of such a high-tech facility, as the nuclear power plant, scientific and technical intelligentsia in Lithuania rose to a new level. However, in the period of sovereignty under the pressure of the EU, the Ignalina NPP was completely unnecessarily shut down, and now Lithuania is again begging with an outstretched hand before the countries generating power.
Now neither Lithuania nor other countries in the region prefer remember everything good that was done for the Baltic peoples. But the thesis of "crimes of the totalitarian regime" is stubbornly exploited. The repressive machine worked on the whole Soviet space, not only in the Baltics. Of course, it broke fates of harmless people, and these black pages of the Soviet history have long been condemned by the democratic Russia, at the state level.
Indeed, in the second half of the 40s of the last century, after the victory over fascism, repressions also affected the Balts. However, at that time, the people who collaborated with the Nazis were mostly punished (and it was the policy of all the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition). Many Balts fought with Nazis against the Soviet Army (senile SS-men marches are carried out in our time too). After the war, many of them joined the forces of “Forest Brotherhood" who sowed terror against their own countrymen, who accepted the Soviet government. Atrocities of these inveterate criminals are shown with great power in a remarkable movie of the 60s, Nobody Wanted to Die, in which starred brilliantly a prominent Lithuanian actor Donatas Banionis.
Incidentally, it is in Soviet times that Baltic filmmakers got themselves talked about who made a lot of good films which have entered the golden fund of cinema. The best Soviet directors and actors, film studios "Mosfilm", "Lenfilm" and many others helped the formation of the Baltics’ cinematographic art. The Soviet period was the peak of glory for the Baltic cinema, nominated such fine actors as Regimantas Adomaitis, Juozas Budraitis, Eugenio Pleshkov (Lithuania), Via Artmane and Ivars Kalnins (Latvia). The whole country’s favorite was Estonian actor and singer Georg Ots, a unique Mr. X.
In conclusion, I would like to remember a little-known story on repressions. A prominent Estonian chess player GM Paul Keres in the war years stayed in Europe occupied by Hitler and played in tournaments organized by the Nazis. After the war he returned to his homeland and found himself under threat of arrest on a charge of collaborationism. Keres’ fate was decided by Stalin himself, who understood that the arrest of the well-known grandmaster, "pride of the Estonian nation”, would seriously compromise the Soviet regime in the eyes of Estonians. Keres was not touched, and he became the champion of the Soviet Union three times, successfully played for the USSR national team for many years and even led it in 1952, at the World Chess Olympiad.
So, when the Lithuanian Foreign Minister says of the crimes of the Soviet regime, and of justice, it would be nice if he also tells (for the same fairness' sake), about everything good that was done for his country during the Soviet era, and thanks the Soviet Union, primarily Russia, for the invaluable contribution to the development of the Baltic republics. Presenting the bill for "damage" caused during the "Soviet occupation", the leaders of Lithuania, for sure, most of all cherish the thought of billions of dollars. And here they can be understandable: economic affairs are unspeakably bad, not only in the country, but throughout the European Union.