Baltic leaders urge world not to forget Soviet deportations

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Deportation in 1949. Source: Rahvusarhiiv

The presidents of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Gitanas Nauseda, Egils Levits and Kersti Kaljulaid, on Monday marked the 80th anniversary of the start of the 1941 Soviet deportations in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Addressing their citizens and the international community in a joint statement, the three Baltic heads of state urged people not to forget the Soviet deportations that shocked the world and maimed the fate of several generations of people, the Lithuanian presidential press service said.

"Today, with a minute of silence, we honor the memory of victims. But we must also speak up. Such events like the deportations that started on June 14 had their reason. It happened because two evil forces - Nazi Germany and the Soviet Communist regime - entered into a secret agreement to divide Europe. By undermining countries' sovereignty, human rights and the rule of law, these two regimes caused unspeakable pain and sufferings," the presidents said.

They also reminded in their statement that the consequences of the Soviet occupation are still felt in the Baltic states 30 years after they regained independence.

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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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