On Friday, Aug. 23, the 40th anniversary of the Baltic Appeal, Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) presented ceremonial plaques of appreciation to Mart Niklus and Enn Tarto, the two surviving of the four Estonian signatories of the appeal, as well as relatives of the other two signatories, Erik Udam and Endel Ratas.
"40 years ago, standing up for Estonia's freedom and national sovereignty took a lot of inherent courage," Reinsalu said at the event according to a ministry press release. "We remember those who risked serious consequences to send a message from behind the Iron Curtain to the Western world about the injustice that had befallen the Baltic states."
On Jan. 13, 1983, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in response to the 1979 appeal, condemning the Soviet occupation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
"Thanks to the shared courage of these 45 Estonia, Latvian and Lithuanian citizens, the first international organization adopted a position in support of the Baltic states," the foreign minister highlighted. "It marked the moment when the international community began paying attention to the Baltic states, which helped us greatly in restoring our independence."
Aug. 23 marks the 40th anniversary of the signing by 45 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians of the Baltic Appeal, a memorandum demanding that the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (MRP) and its secret protocols be disclosed, that it is declared null and void ab initio, and that independence be restored to the Baltic states.
Editor: Aili Vahtla