Russian President Vladimir Putin decided that the occupation of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia by the Soviet Union in 1940 was “legitimate”. He wrote about this in an article published on June 18 on the website of The National Interest.
“In the autumn of 1939, the Soviet Union, in pursuit of their strategic, military and defensive end, began the process of unification of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Their entry into the USSR was carried out on a contractual basis, with the consent of the elected government. This was in line with international and state law of the time”, – Putin claims.
The Baltic States were occupied in the summer of 1940 on the basis of agreements with Nazi Germany, after the presentation of ultimatums to the governments of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Moscow has accused the Republic in violation of agreements with the Soviet Union, in particular the violation of neutrality, and demanded to allowed on the territory of additional Soviet troops. After increasing the military contingent in the Baltic States held elections, won by Pro-Soviet forces. The new government soon announced the membership of the USSR.
At the same time, many Western countries it was regarded as occupation. So, in three resolutions of the Council of Europe (1960, 1994 and 2005), the inclusion of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia into the USSR was called occupation, annexation and forcible incorporation.
In the joint statement of the President of Latvia Egils Growth, the Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausea and of the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid published may 7, 2020 on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of world war II in Europe, stressed that “the Soviet Union used military preponderance, indiscriminate repression, mass deportation and total ideological control for the subordination of the Baltic States”.
“The end of the Second world war did not bring freedom to the peoples of Central and Eastern Europe. Instead, the replacement of one totalitarian regime replaced another, when the Baltic countries were cynically included in the Soviet Union”, – said in a statement.