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 Restoration of Independence, 1990–1991

 

 

Restoration of Independence

Independence Restoration Act of 11th March, 1990. Domestic and International Reaction  

In the evening of 10th March 1990, LSSR Supreme Council deputies, elected in the first free elections that took place after the occupation of 1940 on 24th February 1990, gathered together in the Supreme Council; 125 deputies participated in the meeting. The quorum was present, and the Supreme Council of Lithuanian SSR started its work. The Vote Counting Commission was elected, the Secretariat of the Supreme Council was formed, the Mandate Commission was elected.  

On 11th March 1990, already 130 deputies participated in the meeting of the Supreme Council of LSSR. The first important job was to elect the Chairperson of the SC. The LCP that had already separated from the CPSU, nominated Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas, the party's leader, while the Sąjūdis nominated Vytautas Landsbergis as its Chairperson. The meeting elected Vytautas Landsbergis into the position of the Chairperson of the Supreme Council: 91 deputies voted for his candidacy, while 38 voted for Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas. Supreme Council Vice-Presidents Bronius Kuzmickas, Kazimieras Motieka and Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, as well as Secretary of the Supreme Council Liudvikas Sabutis were also elected. Also, on 29th March 1990, Egidijus Bičkauskas, Romas Gudaitis, Mečys Laurinkus, Eugenijus Petrovas, Aloyzas Sakalas, Gediminas Vagnorius were elected into the Praesidium of the Supreme Council. The oaths of Praesidium Members of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of Lithuania are stored in the archive of the Seimas.

In order to restore the independence of the Republic of Lithuania, the Supreme Council adopted five most important legal acts in the meeting of 11th March, 1990. The Supreme Council Declaration On Authorizations of Deputies of the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR, which emphasized that by granting the status of the nation's representatives to the elected deputies, the electorate of Lithuania obligated them to restore the independent state of Lithuania through this Supreme Council which would be called the Supreme Council of Lithuania as of 11th March, 1990, was adopted. On 11th March 1990, the Supreme Council of Lithuania also adopted the Law of the Republic of Lithuania On the Name and Emblem of the State. This law established the only official name of the state used in the Constitution and other legal normative acts – “the Republic of Lithuania”, as well as the official emblem and sign of the Republic of Lithuania – the Vytis. According to this law, the Supreme Council of Lithuania was named as “the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania”, and the respective changes were made to the position of the Chairperson of the Supreme Council and names of other state institutions. This is how the future state apparatus of the restored independent state was formally created. The Supreme Council voted separately on these two documents. 126 deputies voted for the Declaration On the Authorizations of Deputies of the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR, 6 deputies abstained, and 1 ballot paper was announced to be invalid. The Law on the Name and the Emblem of the State received the votes of all – 133 deputies.[1] Already by the adoption of the Act On Restoration of the Independent State of Lithuania of 11th March 1990, on the same day the Supreme Council had adopted the law On Changing the Status of the Former Lithuanian SRR Governance Bodies of Union-Republican Subordination, whereby these institutions had been made governable by the Republic of Lithuania only.

On 11th March 1990, the Supreme Council adopted three constitutional acts whereby it legally restored and re-established independence of the Republic of Lithuania: Act on Restoration of the Independent State of Lithuania of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, the Law on Restoration of Validity of Lithuanian Constitution of 12th May 1938 of the Republic of Lithuania, and the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania restored independence of the state of Lithuania de jure by the Act On Independence of Lithuania on 11th March, 1990. The cards of roll-call voting of deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania on the Act of Re-Establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania are stored in the archive of the Seimas. During the voting, 124 deputies of the Supreme Council pronounced “for” and 6 of them abstained. In this archive, the following cards of roll-call voting of deputies of the Supreme Council are stored: On the Declaration of Authorizations of Deputies of the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR, On the Election of the Chairperson of the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic, and On the Appeal to the Lithuanian People.

The Act of 11th March, 1990 announced: “The Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, expressing the will of the Nation, decrees and solemnly proclaims that the execution of the sovereign powers of the State of Lithuania abolished by foreign forces in 1940, is re-established, and henceforth Lithuania is again an independent state.” The Act further stated the continuity of the state and its identity with the independent Republic of Lithuania created in 1918, and established a provision related with the state's territorial sovereignty and wholeness: “The territory of Lithuania is whole and indivisible, and the constitution of no other state is valid on it.” The Act also emphasises the loyalty of the Republic of Lithuania to generally admitted international law principles, it states the mandate of the Supreme Council as a representative of a supreme Nation.

On 11th March, 1990, after the adoption of the Act on Re-Establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania implemented the provision of Section 3, stating that no constitution of another country would be valid in the territory of the country. Therefore the validity of constitutional acts of a foreign country in Lithuania had to be terminated, and the validity of the last Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania had to be restored. On 11th March, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the law On Restoration of Validity of Constitution of Lithuania of 12th May 1938 (128 deputies voted “for” this law). In the meeting of 11th March, 1990, Vytautas Landsbergis, Chairperson of the Supreme Council, made a remark that this law was symbolic, formal and established the continuity of the state. The preamble of the Law on Restoration of Validity of Constitution of Lithuania of 12th May 1938 states that the constitution of 12th May 1938 was illegally suspended when the USSR exercised aggression in respect of the independent state of Lithuania and annexed it on 15th June, 1940. Soon after this law had been adopted, in half an hour the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania which terminated the validity of provisions of the Constitution of 1938 was adopted being supported by125 deputies, and one deputy abstaining. The Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania remained in force by 1st November, 1992, when the new permanent Constitution adopted in the referendum of 25th January, 1992, came into force. The Provisional Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania provided that the laws and other legal acts of Lithuania that had been valid by the time and that did not contradict to the Provisional Basic Law, remained in force. Article 2 of the Provisional Basic Law entrusted the public authority to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, the Government and the Court. On 17th March, 1990, amendments of two articles of the Provisional basic Law were adopted.

After the restoration of Independence of Lithuania on 11th March, 1990, hundreds of greeting telegrams and postcards reached the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. The Seimas archive stores greeting telegrams, postcards and letters of non-governmental organisations, city council deputies, factories, unions, cultural workers, professional unions, different state institutions with lists of their signatories which express assent to the announcement of independence of Lithuania, send greetings to the Supreme Council and its Chairperson Vytautas Landsbergis, wish success, determination and unity in the further work, condemn the actions of the Lithuanian Communist Party and other pro-Soviet forces against independence of Lithuania. The Seimas archive also stores gratitude and support letters of Lithuanian citizens to Chairperson of the Supreme Council V. Landsbergis who is expressed personal gratitude for the works he has performed reaching for independence of Lithuania, support with regard to the economic blockade, the internal policy that is carried out and negotiations with the Soviet Union, and is wished success in the further activities.

After the announcement of independence, the Supreme Council of Lithuania has also received greeting telegrams and letters from foreign citizens, organisations, university students, political parties and social movements from the former USSR republics: Russia, Belarus, Moldavia, Ukraine, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, the Baltic states: Latvia, Estonia. The Seimas archive also stores greeting postcards from residents and public organisations fro the USA, Finland, Sweden, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Croatia, China, greeting the Supreme Council, its Chairperson V. Landsbergis, the Lithuanian people for announced independence. It stores a petition with signatures of Latvian citizens supporting independence of Lithuania and expressing a categorical protest against the attempts of the USSR to limit the rights of the independent Republic of Lithuania. In the archive, there is a resolution of the USA Congress on the announcement and restoration of Independence of Lithuania which greets the courage of the Lithuanian people in peaceful reaching for independence, expresses support in restoring public authorities based on democratic ruling principles. When independence of Lithuania was restored, signatures of residents of Czechoslovakia concerning a democratic dialogue between Moscow and Vilnius were collected, as well as signatures of residents of Sweden – We Support the Baltic States, and residents of Sverdlovsk and Irkutsk districts (Russia) who admitted independence of Lithuania, condemned interference into affairs of Lithuania, the attempt to suppress the aims to restore democracy and sovereignty.

Upon the restoration of independence of Lithuania, the Supreme Council received not only greeting letters and letters supporting Independence, but also letters expressing disapproval. The archive stores letters, telegrams and appeals from citizens of the former Union of SSR, communist party divisions, organisations, military units, governmental institutions and representatives, whereby disapproval of the announcement of independence of Lithuania is expresses, it is demanded to revoke the Act of 11th March, doubted regarding the chosen policy and independence aspirations.

On 15th May, 1990, Salcininkai District Council of People's Deputies decided to follow the laws of the USSR and Lithuanian SSR and refused to admit the Act of 11th March, 1990. On 24th May, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania cancelled the decision of Salcininkai District Council of 15th May 1990. However, on the same day, 24th of May, Vilnius District Council adopted a decision On the Prevailing Social and Political Situation in the Region, Point 2 of which announced autonomy of “the Polish national district”. On 6th October, 1990, in Eišiškės (Vilnius District), a declaration on the establishment of a Polish national-territorial region in Lithuania was announced in Vilnius District Polish Congress. The Seimas archive stores comments, proposals, notes and applications of Lithuanian residents regarding the Polish initiative to create autonomy of the Poles in Vilnius District. These documents express dissatisfaction of citizens regarding the splitting of independent Lithuania, state that the declaration adopted on 6th October, 1990 in Eišiškės is illegal and does not comply with the Constitution. The archive stores a letter of the Chairperson of Vilnija Society, disapproval of an initiative group of public organizations of the Eastern Lithuania, dissatisfaction letters of Vilnius District school employees. It also stores an explanatory letter to the regulations of the Head of Coordination Service of Vilnius District, deputy Ryšardas Maceikianecas who has prepared the regulations of the Polish national-territorial region to Vytautas Landsbergis, Chairperson of the Supreme Council.

 

The Governments of the Republic of Lithuania

Three cabinets of ministers were created during the period from March, 1990 to July, 1992. Constitutional authorizations of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania were discussed in the Provisional Basic Law approved by the Supreme Council on 11th March, 1990. It provided that the Prime Minister was approved by the proposal of the Chairperson of the Supreme Council, while Deputy Prime Ministers and ministers are approved by the Supreme Council on the basis of the Prime Minister's proposal. The Provisional Basic Law of 11th March, 1990 provided that deputies of the Supreme Council could not be members of the Government, but this requirement was cancelled in the edition of the Provisional Basic Law of 17th March, 1990.

On 11th March, 1990, the Council of Ministers of the Lithuanian SSR resigned, and the Supreme Council decided to temporarily entrust the duties of the Chairperson of the Lithuanian SSR Council of Ministers to Deputy Chairperson of the Lithuanian SSR. Even before the adoption of the Law on the Government on 17th March, 1990 the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania appointed the Prime Minister of the Government – Kazimiera Danutė Prunskienė and her deputies Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas and Romualdas Ozolas. On 13th March 1990, the Supreme Council started discussing the Draft Law on the Government. On 22nd March, 1990, after long considerations and discussions the Supreme Council adopted the Law on the Government. The law provided that the Government of the Republic of Lithuania was the supreme governance body of the state of Lithuania. The Law on the Government of the Republic of Lithuania determined the directions and principles of the Government's activities, the procedure of formation of the Government, its responsibility and accountability, the procedure of its revocation and resignation, competence, authorities of the Government, its relations with other institutions, listed 18 ministries. On 3rd April, 1990, the Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania was excluded from the list of ministries, and the Government was charged with the duty to establish the National Defence Department which had to prepare the concept of national defence and to become the basis for the future Ministry of National Defence. Minister of National Defence, Audrius Butkevicius, was appointed on 10th October, 1991, and while the Ministry started its work in 1992.

Upon the start of formation of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the first ministers were appointed already on 23rd March, 1990, and the last one, the Minster of Trade, was appointed on 3rd April, 1990. The first independent meeting of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania took place even before taking the oath of the Government. The structure of the Government's apparatus, its departments, preparation of the Government's programme was considered in this meeting.[2]

The first Government of the Republic of Lithuania took the oath on 11th April, 1990. Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė became the Chairperson of the first Government of Lithuania,Vytas Navickas – the Minister of Economy, Leonas Vaidotas Ašmantas – the Minister of Energetics, Romualdas Sikorskis – the Minister of Finance, Darius Kuolys – the Minister of Culture and Education, Romualdas Kozyrovičius – the Minister of Material Resources, Vaidotas Antanaitis – the Minister of Forestry, Rimvydas Jasinavičius – the Minister of Industry, Albertas Sinevičius – the Minister of Trade, Kostas Birulis – the Minister of Communications, Juozas Olekas – the Minister of Health, Algis Dobravolskas – the Minister of Social Security, Algimantas Nasvytis – the Minister of Construction and Urbanism, Jonas Biržiškis – the Minister of Transport, Pranas Kūris – the Minister of Justice, Algirdas Saudargas – the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marijonas Misiukonis – the Minister of Internal Affairs, Vytautas Knašys – the Minister of Agriculture. The text of the oaths of members of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of Lithuania are stored in the archive of the Seimas.

After the announcement of independence of Lithuania, the main aim of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania was to implement independence announced by the Supreme Council. The main task of the Government were to create and reinforce the institutional structure of the state, to overtake the agriculture from the jurisdiction of the USSR, to reorganize their management, to switch from the market economy to the planned economy, to create new economic and political relations with foreign countries. After having started its work the Government reorganized the work of the Government's apparatus, reduce the number of employees, introduced positions of advisers and referents, determined the functions of ministries. In the first meeting, the issue of limitation of production provision to the Republic of Lithuania announced by the USSR was considered.[3]

After the Government has started its work, different groups began expressing distrust towards the Government: the communists, later the far-right, also part of deputies of the Supreme Council, some residents of the Republic of Lithuania, the Lithuanian Liberty League. The Seimas archive stores documents of correspondence with the Lithuanian Liberty League from 28th April, 1990 to 2nd December, 1990. These statements of the Lithuanian Liberty League to the Supreme Council, declarations and resolutions of the meetings of 3rd May, 1990, 16th November, 1990, organised by the Lithuanian Liberty League express dissatisfaction of the communist governance of Lithuania, provides suspicions of conspiracy. The Seimas archive also stores feedback, proposals, remarks, requests and correspondence of residents, enterprises and organisations of Lithuania on their solution and other issues of the policy pursued by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. The archive also stores the documents of activity of the Government.

On 7th January, 1991, the Government adopted a resolution on increasing food prices and announced of an increase of compensations and salaries to employees of budget organisations. On 8th January, 1991, in the meeting of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, it was decided to suspend the Government's resolution on increasing food prices. 100 deputies voted for the suspension, 4 voted against, and 4 abstained. On 8th January, 1991, the Supreme Council also approved an amendment to the Provisional Basic Law which made the Government's resignation easier. On the same day, Prime Minister Kazimira Prunskienė after having returned from Moscow announced of her resignation, and of the resignation of the whole Government in corpore. On 9th January, 1991, the last meeting of the first Government took place.

The second Government of the Republic of Lithuania gave the oath on 11th January, 1991.On 10th January, 1991, Albertas Šimėnas was appointed the Prime Minister, and the positions of ministers were taken by the same persons as in the First Government. Because of the start of Soviet aggression and related unexpected circumstances the Second Government has worked only for 3 days. In the full swing of the military aggression of the USSR, a new Government was appointed on 13th January, 1991.

The text of the oaths of members of the third Government of the Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of Lithuania of 13th January, 1991 are stored in the archive of the Seimas. Gediminas Vagnorius was appointed the Prime Minister of this Government. Its personal composition also changed: Vytas Navickas was appointed the minister of economy, Leonas Vaidotas Ašmantas – the minister of energetics, Elvyra Janina Kunevičienė – the minister of finance, Audrius Butkevičius - the minister of national defence, Darius Kuolys – the minister of culture and education, Vaidotas Antanaitis – the minister of forestry, Vilius Židonis – the minister of trade and material resources, Kostas Birulis – the minister of communications and informatics, Algimantas Nasvytis – the minister of construction and urbanism, Jonas Biržiškis – the minister of transport, Juozas Olekas – the minister of health, Vytenis Aleškaitis – the minister of economic relations, Algirdas Saudargas – the minister of foreign affairs, Petras Valiukas – the minister of internal affairs, Rimvydas Raimondas Survila – the minister of agriculture, Aleksandras Abišala – the minister without a portfolio.

 

Activity of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania and its Commissions

The first meeting of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania was held on 10th March, 1990, and the last one – on 11th November, 1992. The archive stored in the Seimas reveals the activities of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania best through the work of its commissions.

After the announcement of the Act on Restoration of Independent State of Lithuania on 11th March, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania continued its activities of statehood restoration and establishment. On 13th March, 1990, the Supreme Council decided that state emblem samples which had been approved in the Republic of Lithuania before 25th August, 1940 should be temporarily used on seals, forms of state institutions and organizations by the time of approval of the Regulations on the State Emblem. By the decision of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, a sample of the Vytis created by artist Juozas Zikaras in 1925 was approved as the standard of emblem of the state of Lithuania. On the same day, a decision On Marking of the State Border of Lithuania was adopted. On 18th June, 1990, the Ministry of the Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania legitimized state insignia on uniforms of law enforcement officials. Hat cockades, patches and buttons were changed with the symbol of Vytis. On 7th October, 1990, the first stamps of re-established independent Lithuania were put into circulation.

On 13th March, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a resolution On the Institution of Interim Working Groups of Deputies of the Supreme Council, instituted the following interim working groups of the Supreme Council and appointed their leaders: the working group of general state re-establishment principles, the leader – deputy of the Supreme Council Romualdas Ozolas; the working group of the Supreme Council structure and activity principles – the leader – deputy of the Supreme Council Lionginas Šepetys; the working group of structure and activity principles of the Government and other governance institutions, the leader – deputy of the Supreme Council Gediminas Vagnorius; the working group of legal system principles, the leader – deputy of the Supreme Council Jonas Prapiestis; the working group of national defence principles, the leader deputy of the Supreme Council Zigmas Vaišvila. The Seimas archive stores oaths of the chairpersons of the permanent commissions to the Republic of Lithuania of 11th April, 1990.

At the beginning of its activities, the Supreme Council solved the issues of re-establishment of institutions necessary for the independent state. On 22nd March, 1990, the General Prosecution Service was overtaken into the jurisdiction of the Republic of Lithuania, the Supreme Council appointed Artūras Paulauskas as the General Prosecutor of the Republic of Lithuania. On 26th March, 1990, the State Security Department to the Government was re-established, and Mečys Laurinkus, deputy of the Supreme Council was appointed as the head of the Department. On 5th April, 1990, by the resolution of the Supreme Council, it was decided to establish the Environment Protection Department instead of the State Nature Protection Committee, and the State Control Department accountable to the Supreme Council instead of the People's Control Department. On 26th June, 1990, deputy of the Supreme Council Kazimieras Uoka was appointed as the head of the Department. On 10th April, 1990, instead of State Income Division, the State Tax Inspectorate was established in the system of the Ministry of Finance; on 25th April, 1990, the Departments of Work Safety, Physical Culture and Sport, Standardisation and Quality, National Protection were established. On 20th June, 1990, the State Lithuanian Language Commission was formed.

On 21st March, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania addressed the employees of Institutions of the Internal Affairs and noted that good functioning of the public order maintenance system – militia – was one of the conditions of justice, freedom, democracy and human well-being and the state's existence. Therefore, the Supreme Council invited each citizen of Lithuania, irrespectively of his or her nationality or work outlook, who has some work experience in the militia, and who was ready to give the oath of loyalty to Lithuania and serve for it, to carry out his or her work honestly.

On 28th March, 1990, the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a resolution On the procedure of Foreign Citizens' Entry to the Republic of Lithuania. By the resolution, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was charged with a duty to issue visas to foreign nationals coming to Vilnius airport and Klaipėda port starting from 28th March, 1990.

After having re-established the independent Republic of Lithuania, according to the law of the Supreme Council On the Certificate of a Citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, interim certificates of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania were being issued, and certificates of self-determination to become a citizen of Lithuania that were valid with Soviet Passports. Certificates of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania were started being issued from 25th June, 1990. It was decided to entirely stop issuing certificates of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania from 15th October, 1992. From this date, all the persons who were citizens of the Republic of Lithuania could be issued only passports of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania.

 

Activity of Commissions of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania

On 14th March, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a resolution On Permanent Commissions of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. By this resolution, 13 permanent commissions were established: the Commission of Mandates and Ethics, the Commission of Re-Establishment of the State, the Commission of the Legal System, the Commission of National Defence and Internal Affairs, the Commission of Foreign Affairs, the Commission of Education, Science and Culture, the Commission of Nature Protection, the Commission of Economics, the Commission of Budget, the Agrarian Commission, the Commission or Health Protection and Social Affairs, the Commission of Citizen Rights and Nationality Affairs, and the Commission of Affairs of Municipalities.

On 17th March, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the resolution On the Election of Chairpersons of Permanent Commissions of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. The following deputies were elected as the Chairpersons of Permanent Commissions of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania: Algirdas Saudargas – the Chairperson of the Commission of Re-Establishment of the State; Jonas Prapiestis – the Chairperson of the Commission of the Legal System; Zigmas Vaišvila – the Chairperson of the Commission of National Defence and Internal Affairs; Emanuelis Zingeris – the Chairperson of the Commission of Foreign Affairs; Rimantas Astrauskas – the Chairperson of the Commission of Nature Protection; Kazimieras Antanavičius – the Chairperson of the Commission of Economics; Audrius Rudys – the Chairperson of the Commission of Budget; Eimantas Grakauskas – the Chairperson of the Agrarian Commission; Medardas Čobotas – the Chairperson of the Commission of Health Protection and Social Affairs; Virgilijus Čepaitis – the Chairperson of the Commission of Citizen Rights and Nationality Affairs; Stasys Kropas – the Chairperson of the Commission of Affairs of Municipalities.

The composition of the permanent commissions was approved by the resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of 20th March, 1990 On the Composition of the Permanent Commissions of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania by the adoption of new regulations of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania.

 

The Commission of Mandates and Ethics

From 11th March, 1990, the chairperson of the Commission of mandates and Ethics was deputy of the Supreme Council Aloyzas Sakalas. The Commissions member were Aleksandras Ambrazevičius, Irena Andrukaitienė, Juozas Karvelis, Algirdas Patackas, Kęstutis Rimkus, Romualdas Rudzys, Benediktas Vilmantas Rupeika, Saulius Šaltenis.

The materials from the first meeting of the Commission of Mandates and Ethics of 10th March, 1990 to 7th November 1991 are stored in the Seimas archive.

On 11th March, 1990, the Commission of Mandates and Ethics recognised the mandates to 133 deputies elected on 24th March, 4th, 7th, 8th and 10th of March,1990. Among the Commission's protocols stored in the Seimas archive, the results of election of the Supreme Council deputies, election summaries, lists of elected deputies can be found.

The Commission of Mandates ans Ethics examines different complaints concerning inadequate behaviour of deputies, statements in the press and television, allegations of slander. The Seimas archive stores materials concerning specific complaints and letters in this issue. It stores the list of deputies of the Supreme Council of 21st February, 1991 who were in the hall during the appointment of the Prime Minister on 13th January, 1991.

The Commission of Mandates and Ethics also considered draft resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania On the Defence of Honour and Dignity of Deputies, draft resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania On Coordination of Deputy Duties with Other Activities, draft Regulations on Insurance of Deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania by State Funds.

On 14th November, 1991, the Commission of Mandates and Ethics of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania addressed deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania regarding cooperation with the KGB. It invited to honestly confess those who cooperated with the KGB.

 

The Commission of Re-Establishment of the State

On 17th March, 1990, deputy of the Supreme Council Algirdas Saudargas was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission of Re-Establishment of the State. According to the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, the commission also consisted of: Kęstutis Lapinskas, Mečys Laurinkus, Rolandas Paulauskas, Gintaras Ramonas, Gediminas Šerkšnys. On 28th March, 1990, Česlovas Juršėnas, Juozas Karvelis, Stasys Malkevičius, and Aloyzas Sakalas became members of the Commission of Re-Establishment of the State. From 29th March, 1990, this Commission was headed by Gediminas Šerkšnys. The Commission of Re-Establishment of the State continued its activities by 21st November, 1991, when the Commission of Re-Establishment of the State and Constitution was formed by the decision of the Supreme Council. Rimantas Astrauskas, Česlovas Juršėnas, Mečys Laurinkus, Jonas Liaučius, Stasys Malkevičius, Romualdas Ozolas, Rolandas Paulauskas, Gediminas Šerkšnys, Aurimas Taurantas, and Petras Vaitiekūnas were appointed as its members On 4th February, 1992, Aurimas Taurantas was elected the chairperson of the Commission of Re-Establishment of the State and Constitution.

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission of Re-Establishment of the State and the Commission of Re-Establishment of the State and Constitution from 11th April, 1990 to 21st September, 1992, as well as oaths of members of the Commission of Re-Establishment of the State and Constitution Right Protection Subcommittee (Virgilijus Čepaitis, Balys Gajauskas, Egidijus Jarašiūnas, Jonas Prapiestis, Liudvikas N. Rasimavičius, Zigmas Vaišvila).

During the first meeting, works of the State commission were distributed and the issue of the deputies of the Supreme Council who were permanently working in the commission was solved. K. Lapinskas, S. Malkevičius, J. Karvelis, G. Šerkšnys, M. Laurinkus, R. Paulauskas decided to be deputies of the Supreme Council permanently working in the Commission, while G. Ramonas and Česlovas Juršėnas – deputies not permanently working in the Commission. On 18th September, 1990, it was decided to employ Egidijus Kūris, Juozas Galginaitis, R. Krukauskas as advisers of the Commission.

The Commission of Re-Establishment of the State and Constitution prepared the Law on the State Controller, the Law on the State Control, the Law on Revocation of Deputies, the Law on the Constitutional Court, edited the Provisional Basic Law , considered the draft Law on Determination of Diplomatic Ranks, the issue of recording nationality in the certificate of a citizen of Lithuania, analysed the main structures of the state, the programme of the Government. It also provided proposals on amending the Law on the Code of Administrative Violations and the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania, on the draft Law on Compulsory (Alternative) Labour Service of the Republic of Lithuania.

On 15th April, 1991, the Commission approved the draft Regulations of the State Flag and State Anthem of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Commission also discussed the issue of the Eastern Lithuania, problems of Vilnija land, activity of the Commission of the Eastern Lithuania, the issue of higher education acquisition of the Poles. On 27th January, 1992, the Commission approved the reorganization of the Commission of the Eastern Lithuania to the State Commission of Regional Problems.

The Commission of Re-Establishment of the State and Constitution was continuously considering the process and results of preparation of the Constitution, the draft Constitution. It also considered the draft Law on the President of the Republic of Lithuania, the Law on Announcing the Referendum on the Issue of Re-Establishment of the Institution of President of the Republic of Lithuania, the draft Law on Amendment and Supplementing the Law on Referendum of the Republic of Lithuania.

Different other decisions of the Commission of Re-Establishment of the State and Constitution on different spheres of the state's life such as economics, safety, property restoration issue, ownership rights, foreign investments, banking system, the Law on Education are recorded in minutes of the Commission stored in the Seimas.

The Commission also considered: On Treaties Signed by Representatives of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, their aligning to each other, registration, legitimation, announcement and entry into force, as well as their compliance to the Law on Treaties, On the Note No. 005 received from the Embassy of Canada whereby Lithuania was demanded to accept the debts of the former USSR, On Negotiations with Russia Concerning the Withdrawal of Troops from Lithuania, On Announcing Referendum Concerning the Withdrawal of Troops from Lithuania.

 

The Commission of Foreign Affairs

By the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, Emanuelis Zingeris was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission of Foreign Affairs. On 20th March, 1990, other members of the Commission were appointed: Laima Liucija Andrikienė, Arūnas Degutis, Romas Gudaitis, Albinas Januška, Česlovas Juršėnas, Stasys Kašauskas, Valdemaras Katkus, Egidijus Klumbys, Česlavas Okinčicas, Nijolė Oželytė-Vaitiekūnienė, Justas Vincas Paleckis, Vytautas Petras Plečkaitis, Antanas Račas, Petras Vaitiekūnas, Rimvydas Valatka, Vidmantas Žiemelis.

Files of the Commission of Foreign Affairs from 19th March, 1990 to 20th December, 1993, are stored in the Seimas.

After having restored independence of Lithuania, first of all the Commission of Foreign Affairs set guidelines of its activities, prepared the Regulations of its work, decided the issue on increasing competences of the Commission's members. One of the first issues considered by the Commission was the draft Regulations of the Representative Office of the Republic of Lithuania in Moscow, and the issue of creating relationships with embassies in Moscow. The Commission of Foreign Affairs also provided proposals to the Praesidium of the Supreme Council regarding foreign country visits and visits of deputies of the Supreme Council, and regarding documents sent to foreign countries on behalf of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. Apart from these documents, the Seimas archive stores texts of discussions of the Commission of Foreign Affairs on foreign delegation visits, information of visits of the Commission's members to foreign countries (to Estonia, Scandinavian countries, Poland, Switzerland, the USA).

The Commission of Foreign Affairs of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania also considered issues related with cooperation of the Baltic States. The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission, in which the issues regarding the meeting of Baltic States Foreign Affairs Commissions, cooperation agreement of the Baltic States were considered. The Commission also considered the issues regarding the Eastern Lithuania, the agreement and negotiations between Lithuania and the USSR.

The minutes of the Commission of Foreign Affairs stored in the Seimas record the Commission's considerations regarding the draft Interim Law on Customs of the Republic of Lithuania, also regarding the Decree of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania On the draft Procedure of Grating Diplomatic Ranks, the draft Law on Custom Tariffs, draft Law on Diplomatic Representative Offices of Foreign Countries in the Republic of Lithuania. The Seimas archive also stores the Declaration of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of 14th October, 1991 On Relations of the Republic of Lithuania with Israel, the Declaration of Friendly Relations and Good Neighbouring Cooperation between the Republic of Poland and the Republic of Lithuania of 13th January, 1992.

 

The Commission of the Legal System

By the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, Jonas Prapiestis was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission of the Legal System. According to the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, the composition of the Commission also included: Egidijus Bičkauskas, Egidijus Jarašiūnas, Zenonas Juknevičius, Algirdas Kumža, Liudvikas Narcizas Rasimavičius, Valerijonas Šadreika.

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission of the Legal System, from 26th March, 1990 to 15th January, 1992.

During the first meeting of the Commission of the Legal System of 26th March, 1990, also in the meeting of 27th March, candidatures of judges of the Supreme Court were considered. The candidate judges were invited into these meetings, and were asked questions.

The issues considered by the Commission of the Legal System covered many areas. Among the minutes of the Commission stored in the Seimas archive, considerations of the draft Law on the State Control, Statute of the State Control Department, Amendments of the Interim Basic Law, Law on Guarantees of Income of Residents of the Republic of Lithuania, the Basics of the State Social Welfare System of the Republic of Lithuania, Provisions on the Passport of a Citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, Law on Nature Protection and many other draft laws can be found.

The Commission of the Legal System also provided proposals regarding the draft Law on Courts, amending and supplementing the Criminal Code, amending and supplementing the Law on the Prosecutor's Service of the Republic of Lithuania, amendments of the Code of Administrative Violations. Besides, proposals on draft laws On Amendments and Supplements of the Code of Correctional Work, On the Establishment of Municipality Police were provided. The Commission of the Legal System formed a working group for preparation of the Law on Police, the Commission was considering the Statute of Police Academy of Lithuania. Remarks of the Commission of the Legal System were provided for the draft Law on Judiciary, the draft Law on the National Defence Service.

The Commission of the Legal System also examined the draft Law on Cooperative Garage and Gardener Communities, considered the Government's Law on Transfer of Houses and Flats to Citizens, the Law on the Procedure and Conditions of Restoring the Existing Property, the draft Law On the Liability for Violation of Trade Rules, the Procedure of Purchasing, Export or Sending Goods outside the Borders of Lithuania submitted by the Government.

On 21st May, 1990, by the resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, the Commission of the Legal System was charged with a duty to select the documents adopted after 11th March, 1990, the action of which could be suspended. It was decided to suspend the action of the acts resulting from the Act of Restoration of Independence which were related with interests of the USSR and could become the object of negotiations.

On 5th June, 1990, a Subcommittee of State Defence Bodies for Parliamentary Control was established in the Commission of the Legal System, and Egidijus Jarašiūnas was elected its chairperson, while Jonas Prapiestis and Liudvikas Narcizas Rasimavičius appointed as its members. The name and provisions of the Commission of the Legal System and the Subcommittee of Protection of Constitutional Rights were approved on 20th September, 1990.

On 9th July, 1990, the Commission of the Legal System considered and recommended to elect 14 judges of courts of Cities and Districts of the Republic of Lithuania. On 19th September, 1990, it was decided to approve the prepared Law on Political Parties of the Republic of Lithuania, and on 24th September, 1990, it was decided to adopt an amendment and supplement of the Law on the Press.

On 17th December, 1990, the Commission of the Legal System considered the interrogation reform in the Republic of Lithuania. It was decided to establish the Interrogation Department to the Ministry of Justice by 1st July, 1991, which would carry out interrogation in all criminal cases. The draft Law on Reorganisation of Interrogation was approved by the Commission of the legal System on 19th December, 1990.

On 19th December, 1990, the Commission of the Legal System considered the budget of the Republic of Lithuania, and on 22nd February, 1991, it discussed the candidatures of ministers. On 3rd July, 1991, after long considerations and the process of proposing amendments, the Commission of the Legal System decided to approve in essence, and to submit for consideration with minor amendments the draft Law on the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership to the Existing Real Property.

In the minutes of the Commission of the Legal System stored in the Seimas archive, considerations of the Law on the Security, the draft Law on Liability for Crimes to the Lithuanian People, draft amendments and supplements of the Civil Code of the Republic of Lithuania can be found.

On 9th December, 1991, Jonas Prapiestis was elected the chairperson of the Commission.

 

The Commission of Education, Science and Culture

By the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, Stanislovas Gediminas Ilgūnas was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission of of Education, Science and Culture. According to the resolution of the Supreme Council of 20th March, 1990, the following persons became members of the Commission: Aleksandras Abišala, Stanislavas Akanovičius, Irena Andrukaitienė, Bronislovas Genzelis, Romualda Hofertienė, Gintautas Vincas Iešmantas, Vidmantė Jasukaitytė, Virgilijus Kačinskas, Antanas Karoblis, Vytautas Kolesnikovas, Česlovas Kudaba, Jokūbas Minkevičius, Vytautas Paliūnas, Algirdas Patackas, Kazimieras Saja, Mindaugas Stakvilevičius, Saulius Šaltenis, Lionginas Šepetys, Povilas Varanauskas.

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission of Education, Science and Culture from 19th April, 1990 to 19th December, 1991.

The Commission of Education, Science and Culture prepared the draft Law on Educations. On 15th November, 1990, by the resolution of the Supreme Council, the draft Law on Education of the Republic of Lithuania was submitted for consideration of the public. After active debates, especially regarding religious education in public institutions of education, the Law on Education of the Republic of Lithuania was adopted on 26th June, 1991. The Law regulates the components of education: early childhood education, schooling and additional training implemented in pre-school education institutions, general secondary schools, vocational schools and further education institutions. The Law on Education determines the following census of education: the primary, basic, college, higher education. The Law also provides for incorporation of non-governmental private schools, its procedure, as well as education possibilities of national minorities of the Republic of Lithuania, the state's support.

After the promulgation of the Law on Education of the Republic of Lithuania, Regulations of General Education School, Regulations of Vocational School of Lithuania, General Regulations of Colleges, Regulations of Attestation of Pedagogues, Regulations of Providing the Title of Gymnasium and other documents regulating the educational reform were being prepared.

The Commission also prepared the Law on Science and Studies which was adopted by the Supreme Council on 12th February, 1991. During the preparation of this law, discussions on the formation principles and functions of the Science Council of Lithuania, on the issues of management structure of higher schools, universities and science institutions, on the academic autonomy, on the status of Science Academy of Lithuania and other projects were pursued.

On 23rd January, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania approved the status of the University of Klaipėda, on 12th June, 1990 – the status of the State University of Vilnius, on 14th May, 1991 – the status of the Police Academy. On 2nd July, 1992, the Statutes of the Technological University of Kaunas , the Technical University of Vilnius , the Pedagogical University of Vilnius , the Agricultural Academy of Kaunas and the Art Academy of Vilnius were approved. The Seimas archive stores the Statutes of these scientific institutions.

One of the tasks of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania was supervision of implementation of the state's status of the Lithuanian Language, regulation of work of the press, radio and television, creation of cultural heritage protection system. Therefore the Commission of Education, Science and Culture considered these issues in its meetings.

On 9th May, 1990, the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the resolution On The State Commission of the Lithuanian Language, whereby it charged the Commission of Education, Science and Culture together with the Academy of Science with the duty to submit proposals regarding the formation of the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language, its authorizations and composition by 20th June, 1990. On 20th June, 1990, by the resolution of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council, the State Commission of the Lithuanian Language to the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania was formed. The Commission was granted the authority to solve codifications of the Lithuanian Language, the issues of the use of norms and implementation of the language status.

Work in the sphere of heritage was also being carried out. On 12th June, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a resolution to establish the Inspection of Cultural Monuments. By the resolution, the Commission of Education, Science and Culture was charged with the duty to prepare draft articles of association of the Inspection by 25th June, 1990, and the draft Law on Protection of Cultural Monuments by 15th September. On 30th July, 1990, the Interim Law on Cultural Heritage Inspection was adopted whereby the Inspection was authorized to take care of protection of cultural heritage and use and to control the use of the official language.

On 14th March, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a resolution On Formation of the Interim Commission for Changing the Status of the Committee of Television and Radio of Lithuania, whereby the subordination of the Committee was changed and its activities were reorganised. On 3rd April, 1990, the Board of Radio and Television of Lithuania consisting of 17 members was formed, while on 19th June, 1990, Skirmundas Jonas Valiulis was appointed as the general manager of the Radio and Television of Lithuania. On 10th May, 1990, the Statute of Radio and Television of Lithuania was adopted which announced that this was a governmental institution directly accountable to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Commission of Education, Science and Culture also analysed the issue of granting honours of the Republic of Lithuania, establishment of the Lithuanian Copyright Protection Association Agency in Lithuania, incorporation of the State Patent Bureau, considered the draft Law on Freedom of Conscience, the draft Law on the Sale of Creative Studies, problems of education of the South-East Lithuania, considered the Regulations of the Inspection for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Lithuania. The minutes of the Commission meetings stored in the Seimas archive have recorded discussions regarding the draft Law on Holidays and days of Remembrance, materialization of places of the Jewish nation destruction. The Commission also considered issues concerning the delivery of city coats of arms; on 25th June, 1991, it was decided to form a group for preparation of the draft Law on the Flag of the Republic of Lithuania and other amendments of laws related with the adoption of this Law.

 

The Commission of Nature Protection

By the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, Rimantas Astrauskas, member of the Green Party, was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission of Nature Protection. Other members of the Commission appointed on 20th March, 1990 were Vladimiras Beriozovas, Eugenijus Gentvilas, Virginijus Pikturna, Algimantas Sėjūnas, Jonas Šimėnas, Jonas Tamulis, Aurimas Taurantas, Birutė Valionytė. On 25th April, 1990, a newly elected deputy of the Supreme Council, member of the Council of Experts of Lithuania Rūta Gajauskaitė joined the Commission. On 11th December, 1991, Jonas Šimėnas was elected the chairperson of the Commission. On 28th November, 1991, a new composition of the Commission of Nature Protection was approved: Rūta Gajauskaitė, Česlovas Kudaba, Jokūbas Minkevičius, Algimantas Sėjūnas, Jonas Šimėnas, Jonas Tamulis, Birutė Valionytė.[4]

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission from 17th April, 1990 to 18th December, 1991.

The Commission of Nature Protection faced a task to create the legal foundation of the state environmental care and to prepare draft legal acts. In its meetings, protection of nature and the structure of environmental care as well as environment protection issues were analysed. On 24th April, 1990, the Commission of Protection of Nature proposed the Supreme Council to created the Department of Environment Protection to the Supreme Council. In the Seimas archive, minutes of the meetings in which draft description of functions of the Environment Protection Department of the Republic of Lithuania was prepared, the issue of the head of the Department was discussed can be found. The minutes stored in the archive also have recorded other issues analysed by the Commission of Nature Protection: the construction of ecology objects in Lithuania, protected territories, interrelationship of the Green movement and the Green Party of Lithuania and the possibilities of their consolidation and other issues.

On 5th April, 1990, the Supreme Council eliminated the State Committee of Nature Protection and founded the Department of Environment Protection. On 5th June, 1990, Evaldas Vėbaras was appointed as the director of the Department of Environment Protection. On 13th July, 1990, the Supreme Council adopted the Law on the Department of Environment Protection which regulated the use of resources, the control of environment protection. The Commission of Nature Protection carried out the control of the Department of Environment Protection and provided proposals to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. On 17th July, 1990, the Supreme Council adopted the resolution On the Department of Natural Resources to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.

One of the tasks of the Commission of Nature Protection was to solve the issues related with the catastrophe of Chernobyl. Therefore, on 4th May, 1990, the Commission decided to propose to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to form a special state commission for examination of the consequences of the accident of Chernobyl and preparation of a plan of measures.

The Commission of Nature Protection also considered the issue of subordination of reservations of Lithuania, worked on the Law on Environment Protection, considered draft amendments and supplements of the Code of Administrative Violations of Law. On 7th August, 1990, the Supreme Council adopted the resolution to announce the draft Law on Environment Protection for public consideration. After remarks and proposals have been received and the procedure of coordination has been performed, the Law on Environment Protection was adopted on 21st January, 1992. On 23rd April, 1991, the Supreme Council adopted the resolution On the Establishment of National Parks of Dzūkija, Kuršių Nerija, Žemaitija, Trakai Historical National Park and Viešvilė State Reservation.

On 9th November, 1990, the Commission of Nature Protection formed a group of experts for solving nature protection issued to the delegation of negotiations of the USSR.

On 14th December, 1990, the Government founded the Department of Natural Resources, and on 11th March, 1991 – the Services of State Geology and State Geodesy. The minutes of the Commission of Nature Protection stored in the Seimas archive contain recorded considerations concerning the development and functions of these institutions.

In 1991, the Commission of Nature Protection was preparing the Law on Taxes for Pollution, the draft Regulations of the State Nature Protection Funds. On 21st March, 1991, the Law on Taxes on State Natural Resources, on 2nd April, 1991 – the Law on Taxes on Environment Pollution, on 24th September, 1991 – the Resolution On Economic Sanctions for Emergency Emissions of Pollutants into the Environment, Diffused Water Pollution, Abnormal Single Emissions of Pollutants into the Atmosphere, as well as Waste Disposal at a Non-Designated Place or Without an Authorization. In its meetings, the Commission of Nature Protection also analysed the issue of protection of waters.

 

The Commission of Economics

By the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, Kazimieras Antanavičius was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission of Economics. According to the resolution of the Supreme Council of 20th March, 1990, the Commission also included: Aleksandras Ambrazevičius, Vilius Baldišius, Kęstutis Glaveckas, Juozas Karvelis, Arvydas Kostas Leščinskas, Bronislovas Lubys, Stasys Malkevičius, Albertas Šimėnas, Vladas Terleckas, Gediminas Vagnorius.

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission of Economics from 26th March, 1991 to 12th December, 1991.

In its meetings, the Commission of Economics considered draft budgets of the Republic of Lithuania, draft amendments and supplements of taxation laws, the draft Laws on Small Enterprises and bankruptcy of Enterprises, the draft Law on Value Added Tax, the draft Law on Commercial Banks, draft amendments of Interim Law on On the Liability for Violation of Trade Rules, the Procedure of Purchasing, Export or Sending Goods outside the Borders of Lithuania and submitted its supplements, considered the draft Law of Foreign Contracts.

The Commission of Economics participated in considerations of the Law on State Property Privatization, in preparing the Law on the Procedure and Conditions of the Restoration of the Rights of Ownership to the Existing Real Property, it also considered the draft Laws on Protection of Consumer Rights, Actions Against Unfair Competition and its Limitation.

 

The Commission of Budget

By the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, Audrius Rudys was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission of Budget, and on 20th March, 1990, the following persons were appointed as members of the Commission: Algirdas Endriukaitis, Leonas Jankelevičius, Jonas Pangonis, Liudvikas Saulius Razma, Pranciškus Tupikas, Eduardas Vilkas.

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission of Budget from 19th April, 1990 to 30th December, 1991.

The Commission of Budget analysed and considered and submitted to the Supreme Council its conclusions and proposals on: draft budgets of the state, normative drafts of municipal (local) budgets; different draft taxation laws; draft laws on valid taxes; draft laws on special funds; budget execution accounting and responsibility of institutions and organisations that are maintained by the budget, the procedure of their financing, norms of expenses; budget assignations for realisation of different programmes; provided proposals an budget assignations for maintaining the Supreme Council and its apparatus; separate provisions of draft laws which would influence state budget's income and expenses; state budget performance control; candidatures of ministers and other members of the Government appointed by the Supreme Council.

In its meetings, the Commission of Budget also considered the draft Law on Government of the Republic of Lithuania, the draft Law on State Control of the Republic of Lithuania, the draft Law on Currency Fund of the Republic of Lithuania, the draft Law on Support of the Unemployed, the draft Law on Enterprises of the Republic of Lithuania, the draft Enterprise Bankruptcy Law of the Republic of Lithuania, the draft Law on State Tax Inspectorate of the Republic of Lithuania, the draft Law on Determining the taxable Profit of Enterprises. The Commission also discussed the issues of the compulsory passenger insurance, compulsory insurance of property of state and other agricultural enterprises (partnerships). It also considered the draft Law on payment for Environment Pollution of the Republic of Lithuania.

Among the documents stores in the Seimas archive, there are draft estimates of expenses of organizations accountable to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, considerations of the draft resolution on increasing the expenses of state authorities governance and law enforcement of the Republic of Lithuania maintenance for the year 1991.

 

The Agrarian Commission

By the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, Eimantas Grakauskas was appointed as the chairperson of the Agrarian commission. On 20th March, 1990, the following persons became the members of the Commission: Povilas Aksomaitis, Leonas Apšega, Mykolas Arlauskas, Jonas Mačys, Leonas Milčius, Albertas Miškinis, Petras Poškus, Algirdas Ražauskas, Kęstutis Rimkus, Rimvydas Survila, Edvardas Tomaševičius, Algimantas Ulba.

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Agrarian Commission from 21st May, 1990 to 11th December, 1991. Preparation documents of the Agrarian Reform from 24th September, 1990 to 30th November, 1990 can also be found here. Among others, the draft Programme of the Economic Reform of Agriculture submitted by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania; the most important principles of the Agrarian Reform proposed by the rural peoples on 24th September, 1990; the main principles of the Agrarian Reform proposed by land owners of Lithuania on 28th November, 1990; the draft Programme of the Agrarian Reform of 30th November, 1990 and other documents are stored there.

Around 600 of proposals and comments of citizens regarding the prepared draft laws related with the agrarian reform received during the period from 20th March, 1990 to 29th December, 1991 have been collected in the Seimas archive. They present proposals and opinions of residents, their complaints to the Supreme Council, to the Praesidium of the Supreme Council, leaders of Lithuania regarding returning the land to its former owners and regarding the suspension of collective gardens; regarding the returning of, or compensation for agricultural implements, land to the collective farms, etc.; regarding support to agriculture and provision of benefits to farmers-beginners; regarding the regulation of rights of the people who work in collective farms; regarding the Agrarian Reform; regarding the provision of the unemployed with agricultural land; regarding use of construction materials for agriculture and establishing plants for agricultural production processing; regarding raising the economics of agriculture, regulation of farmer rights, regarding the norms of keeping land and livestock, proposals on determination of taxes on land and other issues. The Seimas archive stores gratitude letters of members of the Agrarian Commission for the received letters and provided proposals, as well as gratitude letters of residents of Lithuania for the responses to their letters.

The Seimas archive stores around 160 proposals and comments of enterprises, institutions and organisations regarding the prepared drafts of the Agrarian Reform, received from 1st May, 1990 to 22nd October, 1992. They include: the resolution of Panevėžys City and District land owners' meeting On the Law on Reorganisation of Draft Real Estate Restoration Procedure and Conditions; the statement of participants of the founding conference of Šilalės District Organisation of the Union of Farmers of Lithuania to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania On the Agrarian Policy and Reform; the evaluation of the draft Law on the Privatization of Property of Agricultural Enterprises and alternative proposals to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania prepared by scientific associates of the Institute of Agriculture of Lithuania; the appeal of Varėna Division members of the Union of Farmers of Lithuania to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Lithuania; the resolution of the Meeting of Coordinative Council of Farmers of Lithuania concerning the draft laws on the Agrarian Reform; the appeal of Kaunas District land owners of the Union of Land Owners of Lithuania and their heirs to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Lithuania concerning the restitution of land and existing property; the resolution of representatives of the Sąjūdis Council of the Agricultural Academy of Lithuania and Kaunas District Sąjūdis groups to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and editors of the newspaper Kauno Aidas concerning the adoption of privatization and land reform laws, as well as letters of other enterprises, institutions and organizations.

The minutes of the Agrarian Commission stored in the Seimas archive have recorded the intense debate and considerations regarding the main provision of the Agrarian Reform. In accordance with the programme of the Lithuanian Farmers Movement and Lithuanian Reform Movement agrarian policy concept, the Agrarian Commission of the Supreme Council carried out the following works first: on 10th May, 1990 and on 29th May, 1990, the draft resolution On the Announcement of Agrarian Reform was presented in the meeting of the Supreme Council; on 20th June, 1990, the draft Basics of Agrarian Policy of Lithuania was prepared; the General Principles of Agrarian Reform were prepared and approved by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania on 3rd July, 1990; the resolution of the Supreme Council On Economic Reform of Lithuania was prepared and adopted on 5th July, 1990; on 5th November, 1990, the draft Programme of Agrarian Reform was prepared which was presented in the meeting of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania on 30th November, 1990. The main parts of the Agrarian Reform whose related documents were considered and prepared in the Agrarian commission were as follows: legitimation of new types of enterprises based on private property by special laws (on 30th July, 1990 – the Law on Joint Stock Companies, on 31st July, 1990 – the Law on the Register of Enterprises, on 25th September, 1990 – the Law on State Enterprises, on 16th October, 1990 – the Law on Partnerships, on 16th April, 1991 – the Law on Agricultural Companies, on 20th December, 1991 – the Law on Small Enterprises was adopted); privatization and restructuring of agricultural enterprises into private companies according to the Law on Land Reform; restitution of citizens ownership rights to the existing real estate; restitution of private land nationalized by the occupational govern,ent and sale of the state's land.

By the resolutions, the Supreme Council decided On the Expansion of Homestead Plots of Rural Residents on 26th July, 1990, On Management Bodies of Collective Farms and Other Agricultural Cooperatives on 4th September, 1990, On the Sale of Cars, Agricultural Implements and Horses on 9th October, 1990. On 25th July, 1991, the Law on Land Reform was adopted (the Seimas archive stores roll-call voting cards of the Supreme Council deputies on the Law on Land Reform), on 12th October, 1991, the resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania On Preparation of Land Reform Land Exploitation Projectsand Approval of Methodology of Their Economic Justification for Rural Areas. By the resolution of 15th August, 1991, The Procedure for Submitting Citizen Applications for Restoration of Ownership Rights to Land was approved. The Agrarian Commission meeting minutes have recorded discussions regarding the preparation, proposals for and amendments of these laws.

 

The Commission of Health Protection and Social Affairs

 By the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, Medardas Čobotas was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission of Health Protection and Social Affairs. According to the resolution of the Supreme Council of 20th March, 1990, the commission also consisted of: Vytenis Andriukaitis, Julius Beinortas, Miglutė Gerdaitytė, Petras Giniotas, Birutė Nedzinskienė, Vytautas Puplauskas, Rasa Rastauskienė, Valentina Suboč, Kazimieras Uoka. The composition of the Commission was changing, and later it was joined by deputies of the Supreme Council who came from other commissions: Mindaugas Stakvilevičius, Albertas Miškinis, Lionginas Šepetys, Vidmantė Jasiukaitytė, Vytautas Kvietkauskas, Albertas Šimėnas. The Commission of Health Protection and Social Affairs consisted of two subcommittees: Subcommittee of Health (the chairperson – Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis), and Subcommittee of Work and Social Care (the chairperson – Kazimieras Uoka).

The minutes of the Commission of Health Protection and Social Affairs of 28th March, 1990 to 20th November, 1991 stored in the Seimas archive contain recorded current affairs of the Commission, its division into subcommittees, determined directions of activities.

The Commission considered the National Health Concept of Lithuania, provided proposals for its improvement. On 12th July, 1990, the draft Concept of National Health was presented in the meeting of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. The Commission on Health Protection and Social Affairs also discussed on the application of the World Health Organization's working practice in Lithuania.

In the meetings of the Commission on Health Protection and Social Affairs of 23rd and 25th July, 1990, it was discussed of the procedure of preparation of health laws and the draft resolution on National Health Council was considered. On 29th July, 1990, the draft Law on Pharmacy was presented to the Supreme Council. On 23rd October, 1990, the Supreme Council adopted the Law on the Principles of State Social Security System. The Commission also considered the Law on Pharmacy which was adopted by the Supreme council of the Republic of Lithuania on 31st October, 1991. The law provided for the state's obligations to provide residents of Lithuania with the most necessary medicine, regulated activities of pharmacies. On 4th February, 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Interim Law on Application of Social and Psychological Rehabilitation. On 21st May, 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania approved the Law on State Social Security. On 30th October, 1991, the Concept of National Health prepared by the Commission of Health Protection and Social Affairs was adopted.

The Commission also considered the issue of joining the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs, the issues of privatization of the State Fund of Flats and the state's support policy. The Commission of Health Protection and Social Affairs prepared the Law on Provision of Residential Premises to Residents. On 27th September, 1990, the Law on Individual Income Security which determined the principles of resident income support according to a new index introduced by the Law – the minimal standard of living – was adopted. The Law on the Law on Principles of State Social Security System was adopted on 23rd October, 1990. The law provided that the state social security functioned as an independent element of finance and credit system which forms a budged that is separate from the state's and municipal budgets. On 21st May, 1991, the Law on State Social Security was adopted, it determined the types of social benefits. The Law on Provision of Pensions to Residents was specified and supplemented four times, and on 15th November, 1990, the final amended version of the law which regulated the minimal pension, pensions of the disabled, was adopted. The Commission of Health Protection and Social Affairs prepared the Law on State Benefits for the Family adopted on 11th June, 1991 as well.

Discussions in the Commission were conducted concerning the preparation of the Code on Law of Employment. Independent Laws on Employment Agreements, Holidays, Work Pay, Collective Agreement Regulation, as components of the Labour Code of the Republic of Lithuania were prepared. The Commission also prepared the Law on Support of the Unemployed; after discussions, the Law on Employment Agreement was adopted on 28th November, 1991. Employment-related laws were prepared by a team of university specialists formed by the Commission of Health Protection and Social Affairs that was headed by Assoc. Prof. Vytautas Nekrašas, and consulted by scientists of the University of Illinois, the USA.

The Commission of Health Protection and Social Affairs also considered the received requests and proposals of citizens concerning the issues of donations, abortions.

 

The Commission of Citizen Rights and Nationality Affairs

 By the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, Virgilijus Čepaitis was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission of Citizen Rights and Nationality Affairs, and on 20th March, 1990, the following persons were appointed as members of the Commission: Zbignevas Balcevičius, Vladimiras Jarmolenka, Jurgis Jurgelis, Ryčardas Maceikianecas, Nikolajus Medvedevas, Donatas Morkūnas, Eugenijus Petrovas, Liudvikas Simutis.

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission of Citizen Rights and Nationality Affairs from 7th May, 1990 to 18th December, 1991.

In the first meetings, the members of the Commission of Citizen Rights and Nationality Affairs distributed work areas among themselves: J. Jurgelis became responsible for trade, V. Jarmolenka – for health, Z. Balcevičius – for flats, R. Maceikianecas – for cars.

The Commission prepared Laws on Migration and Immigration, Repatriation, the Law in the Freedom of Conscience, the Law on Support of the Family, considered the draft Law on the National School, on National Minorities, Religious Associations, the draft Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners in the Republic of Lithuania. The Commission also actively analysed the issue of status of national minorities, non-citizens and person asking for political asylum in the Republic of Lithuania, the issue of migration, the issue of writing surnames of other persons with foreign nationality in personal documentation.

The Seimas archive also stores data of interstate migration of residents during the period of 1987–1990, information of the ones who wanted to depart from and to come to Lithuania.

The issue of different exemptions and privileges took much time of the Commission's activities, the draft Law on Annulment of Exemptions and privileges was prepared. The minutes of the Commission of Citizen Rights and Nationality Affairs stored in the Seimas archive analyse the problems of legal defence and social protection of Lithuanian citizens who had left the army of the USSR, the problems of the citizens who had lost their jobs. The Commission of Citizen Rights and Nationality Affairs also analysed the issue of application of the death penalty in the Republic of Lithuania.

This Commission also analysed statements of citizens, considered the draft Law on Examination of Citizen Proposals, Applications and Petitions. On 26th June, 1990, the establishment of the Office for Examination of Applications of Citizens was considered, a working group consisting of Kazimieras Uoka, Vytautas Puplauskis, Virgilijus Čepaitis, Jurgis Jurgelis was formed which had to prepare the draft resolution of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council on the establishment of the Office.

 

The Commission of Affairs of Municipalities

By the resolution of the Supreme Council of 17th March, 1990, Stasys Kropas was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission of Affairs of Municipalities. According to the resolution of the Supreme Council of 20th March, 1990, the composition of the Commission also included: Nijolė Ambrazaitytė, Juozas Dringelis, Kęstutis Grinius, Stanislavas Peško, Alfonsas Žalys.

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission from 23rd March, 1990 to 18th December, 1991.

The Commission of Affairs of Municipalities prepared the draft Law on the Status of Local Municipality Deputy, actively participated in the preparation of the Laws on the Principles of State Social Security System, Municipal Police, Budget, involved city and district municipalities into the process. The Commission submitted draft amendments and supplements of the Law on the Fundamentals of Local Government to the Supreme Council. The Commission also prepared proposals and provided conclusions to the Supreme Council and its Praesidium on the administrative-territorial division of the Republic of Lithuania, considered issues related with the reform of the administrative division of the Republic of Lithuania and its implementation terms. The Commission of Municipalities provided proposals and conclusions on annulment of municipality council decision which contradicted the laws of the Republic of Lithuania. The highest concern was raised by those decisions which were adopted in relation with different duties, taxes and charges irrespectively of the fact that the Government had not yet determined the procedure of non-budget fund formation and taxation of services. The Commission of Municipalities also analysed complaints and applications related with work of municipalities, gave consultations and provided methodical support to municipalities.

Much of attention in the Commission's work was given to the concept of administrative-territorial division. The Seimas archive stores projects of the administrative-territorial division and proposals for its development. On 1st July, 1991, the Commission decided to form a special commission from deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, representatives of the Government, scientists, professionals and representatives of the public for the preparation of a new version of the concept of administrative-territorial division and consolidation of the presented variants of administrative-territorial division.

The Commission also considered the resolutions of the Supreme Council On the Use of Names of Municipal Authorities and Governance Bodies and On the Preparation Programme of Normative Acts Related with the Implementation of the Law on the Fundamentals of Local Government, provided proposals on the use of the official language in state institutions in the areas with a concentrated population of other than Lithuanian nationality. On 25th September, 1991, the Commission of Municipal Affairs considered the statement of the Polish Fraction of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania to the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania and the Council of Ministers of of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania on the issues of national minorities.

 

The Commission of Citizenship of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania

The Commission of Citizenship of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania was established on 9th May, 1990 by the resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. Kazimieras Motieka, Vice-Chairperson of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, was appointed as its chairperson. The Commission had the following members: Eugenijus Petrovas, Member of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania; Virgilijus Čepaitis, Chairperson of the Commission of Citizen Rights and Nationality Affairs of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania; Pranas Kūris, Minister of Justice of the Republic of Lithuania; Marijonas Misiukonis, Minister of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania; Algirdas Saudargas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania; Vytautas Sinkevičius, Deputy Head of the Legal Department of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission of Citizenship from its first meeting of 12th June, 1990 to 15th October, 1992.

From the very first its meeting, the Commission of Citizenship of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania considered applications of individuals on the provision of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, its refusal, asylum provision. Names of the specific persons who submitted such applications are listed in the minutes stored in the Seimas archive, as well as summaries of the applications that were considered in the Commission of Citizenship.

In the first meeting of the Commission of 12th June, 1990, it was decided to make a proposal to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Security Department to form an interim working group for providing conclusions to the Commission of Citizenship on applications related with issues of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

On 27th August, 1990, the Commission of Citizenship of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania decided to submit the draft Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. The Commission also submitted amendments and supplements for the resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania on the Procedure of Implementing the Law on Citizenship.

On 28th November, 1990, the Commission decided that foreign passports of the Republic of Lithuania are documents confirming citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, if these passports are valid. The persons who have foreign passports of the Republic of Lithuania can receive a certificate of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania and a passport of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania.

In the meeting of the Commission of Citizenship of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of 7th May, 1991, it was decided to propose the Commission of the Lithuanian Language to prepare proposals to citizenship commissions of cities and districts on testing the knowledge of the Lithuanian language, and to submit them to the Commission of Citizenship of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania by 30th June, 1991; it was also decided to ask the Commission of Citizen Rights and Nationality Affairs, in cooperation with the Department of Nationalities, to prepare proposals to citizenship commissions of cities and districts on testing the knowledge of the main provisions of the Interim Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania, and to submit them to the Commission of Citizenship of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania by 30th June, 1991.

At the time of its functioning, the Commission also assigned to prepare a letter addressing the states with which it was intended to establish diplomatic relations, in order to find out their view to the issue of double citizenship; the Commission proposed to prepare methodical explanations to city and district boards on the preparation of Citizenship documents. The Commission of Citizenship also used to decide on the time from which the start of permanent residing in Lithuania had to be counted, considered the provisions of the Law on Citizenship, provision of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

On 15th October, 1992, the Commission of Citizenship decided that the persons who had resided in the territory of Lithuania of that time (irrespectively of whether it was occupied or not) during the period from 9th January, 1919 to 15th June, 1940, their children and grandchildren could be deemed to be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania if they present evidence that they had not acquired citizenship of another state or refused to accept it. Children of the persons who had citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by 15th June, 1940 who were born outside the territory of the Republic of Lithuania are able to restore citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania when they provide evidence that they have not acquired citizenship of another state with their birth in another country.

Taking into account that it was necessary to speed up the solution of citizenship provision issues determined in the Lithuanian-Russian interstate agreement, the Commission of Citizenship of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania decided to address the Government of the Republic of Lithuania with a request to adopt a resolution On the Procedure of Implementation of the Right of Individuals Indicated in the Agreement between the Republic of Lithuania and the Soviet Federal Republic of Russia to Acquire Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

 

Draft Constitution Preparation Working Group

On 7th November, 1990, the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the resolution On Preparation of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and approved the working group for the preparation of the draft Constitution. The leader of the group was Vytautas Landsbergis, the group also included Juozas Bulavas, Algimantas Dziegoraitis, Juozas Galginatis, Valdemaras Katkus, Pranas Kūris, Kęstutis Lapinskas, Zenonas Namavičius, Vytautas Pakalniškis, Artūras Paulauskas, Jonas Prapiestis, Stasys Stačiokas, Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, Gediminas Šerkšnys, Aurimas Taurantas, Juozas Žilys.

The Seimas archive stores documents of the draft constitution preparation working group from 11th March, 1990 to 31st December, 1991.

The draft Constitution preparation working group had to prepare the concept of the Constitution, and to submit it to the Praesidium of the Supreme council by 31st December, 1991. The resolution of the Praesidium of the Supreme Council On the Framework of Concept of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania of 1st May, 1991 provided that the Framework would be considered by 1st August, 1991, and then the Praesidium would generalize the received proposals, would inform the Supreme Council of them, and would propose the further procedures of preparation of the Constitution.[5]

On 9th February, 1991, a plebiscite of population of Lithuania was conducted during which the Lithuanian electorate was asked one question: whether they accepted the statement of the prepared Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania “The Republic of Lithuania is an independent democratic republic”. The plebiscite that had taken place was the basis for adopting the Constitutional Law On the State of Lithuania on 11th February, 1991, which established that the norm of the Constitution “The Republic of Lithuania is an independent democratic republic” can be amended only by a general survey of the Lithuanian People (a plebiscite) in case at least three fourths of Lithuanian citizens having the active election right agreed with that.

On 5th November, 1991, a resolution On the Development of Constitutionality of the Republic of Lithuania was adopted. The Resolution set a framework, provided social, legal assumptions which had to be considered in preparing the Constitution. The Seimas archive stores roll-call voting cards of deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania on 5th November, 1991 regarding the resolution On the Development of Constitutionality of the Republic of Lithuania. This resolution also determined the procedure of preparation for adopting the Constitution:

1) The Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania submits the results and conclusions of the Framework of Constitution prepared by draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania preparation group formed by the Praesidium to the Supreme Council by 1st December, 1991;

2) The Interim Constitution Preparation Commission of deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania is formed by 1st January, 1991;

3) The Interim Constitution Preparation Commission and the Commission State Re-Establishment and Constitution of the Supreme Council submit the draft stages of consideration of the Constitution to the Supreme Council.

 

Interim Commission for Preparation of the Draft Constitution

The Seimas archive stores the protocols of meeting of the Commission for Preparation of the Draft Constitution from 20th January, 1992 to 26th April, 1992, Interim Commission activity documents from 20th January, 1992 to 6th November, 1992.

The issue of the principles of formation of the Commission for Preparation of the Draft Constitution was solved on the meeting of the Supreme Council – leaders or authorized representatives of the Restorative Seimas fractions. It was decided to form the commission on the basis of the principle of representation of all fractions. On the next day, 10th December, 1991, the Supreme Council approved the composition of the Interim Commission for preparation of the draft Constitution formed from deputies of the Supreme Council which included: Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Zbignevas Balcevičius, Bronislovas Genzelis, Egidijus Jarašiūnas, Stasys Kropas, Kęstutis Lapinskas, Jonas Liaučius, Donatas Morkūnas, Kazimieras Motieka, Romualdas Ozolas, Rolandas Paulauskas, Narcizas Liudvikas Rasimavičius, Zita Šličytė, Aurimas Taurantas. On 16th January, 1991, Kęstutis Lapinskas was approved as the chairperson of the Commission.

The first meeting of the Interim Commission for preparation of the draft Constitution was held on 20th January, 1992. The meeting considered the Commission's work regulations, approved by the Praesidium of the Supreme Council on 22nd January, 1992. This resolution also approved the following members of the working group of the Interim Commission for preparation of the draft Constitution: Juozas Žilys (the leader of the group), Gediminas Bulotas, Egidijus Kūris, Jūratė Ladauskaitė (a secretary), Remigijus Mocevičius (a secretary), Algirdas Prapiestis (the editor), Vytautas Sinkevičius, Šarūnas Vilčinskas, and experts: Juozas Bulavas, Mindaugas Maksimaitis, Zenonas Numavičius, Bronius Nemickas, Alvydas Pumputis, Ernestas Raskauskas, Stasys Stačiokas, Povilas Žumbakis. The working group had to prepare the initial texts for consideration, to amend them according to the Commission's remarks.

The Seimas archive stores the resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania On the Stages of Preparation of the Draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. The resolution determined the following terms for preparation of the draft Constitution:

1) Preparation of version one of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and its submission to the Supreme Council by 15th March, 1992;

2) A general discussion in the Supreme Council regarding the principal provisions of the draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and regarding the possibility to present the draft Constitution for public consideration on 15th-31st March, 1992; 3) preparation of the draft Constitution for consideration of the public having taken into account the recommendations of the Supreme Council – on 1st-30th April, 1992;

4) Consideration of the announced draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania during 1st May – 31st August, 1992;

5) Submission of the amended Draft Constitution which has been approbated by the Interim Commission for Preparation of the Draft Constitution to the Supreme Council for its consideration – on 15th October, 1992.

Among the minutes of the Interim Commission for Preparation of the Draft Constitution, decisions on organizational issues, of the scope of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, on separate chapters of the Constitution, e.g., “Rights and Freedoms of Citizens”, on the stages of preparation of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, on the state's governance system, on discussing the draft structure of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, on the issues of separation of the State's powers, on the authority of the Seimas and the President, on the legislative and executive authority, of the structure of powers can be found.

The Interim Commission for preparation of the draft Constitution was split into two parts. The main part of the Commission (11 members) was preparing one draft Constitution together with lawyers, while the minority of the Commission – 3 members who represented a coalition of the Sąjūdis “For Democratic Lithuania” were preparing another version of draft Constitution separately. [6] The authors of the prepared drafts provided different concepts of the issues of competence of the Seimas, the President, and the Government.

The Seimas archive stores working versions of the draft Constitution, alternative wordings of sections and articles of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, remarks of the draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. The editions of draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania of 20th August, 21st April, 23rd September, 11st October, 13th October 1992, can also be found in the archive, as well as a version of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania prepared by Juozas Žilys and Vytautas Sinkevičius on 2nd October, 1992, a proposal of Laima Nainys for the draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the election of one member of the Seimas from the emigrants of 5th October, 1992, the wording of the final provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania on 10th October, 1992, the draft Law on the Procedure of Coming into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania of 10th October, 1992, proposals of the Central Fraction of the Sąjūdis to the draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania of 10th October, 1992. The Seimas archive also stores an application of the Seimas Council of the Sąjūdis of Lithuania of 12th October, 1992 and deputies of the Sąjūdis of Lithuania “For Democratic Lithuania”, announced for the referendum of the submission of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. By the application, it was demanded to combine two versions of the Constitution of Republic of Lithuania, prepared by the Constitutional Commission of the Republic of Lithuania and the public Constitution Commission of the Coalition of the Sąjūdis of Lithuania “For Democratic Lithuania”, however, it was not possible to coordinate the text and to present the draft announced by the Coalition of the Sąjūdis of Lithuania. According to the applicants, the fact that the Supreme Council did not pay any attention to more than a half million of signatures collected for the submission of the draft Constitution prepared by the initiative of the Sąjūdis of Lithuania, was a violation of the law that had not precedent.

On 14th April, 1992, the Supreme Council started considering the two versions of the draft Constitution presented by the Interim Commission for preparation of the draft Constitution. After the consideration, on 21st April, 1992, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania promulgated the resolution On Submission of the Draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania for Consideration of the Public, in which the preparatory work of Constitution preparation performed by the Interim Commission for Preparing the Draft Constitution was approved, and the instruction to prepare this draft for the press was given. It was decided for the Interim Commission for Preparation of Constitution to prepare the amended Draft Constitution and to publish it in the press by 1st May, 1992.

On 4th August, 1992, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania approved the consolidated minutes which defined the main positions regarding the future Constitution by the resolution On the Approval of the Minutes of the Group of Coordination of Constitutional Issues of the Supreme Council. The minutes provide that the basis of preparation of the combined Constitution is minutes prepared by the Commission for Preparation of Constitution and the Sąjūdis Coalition “For Democratic Lithuania”. The minutes charged Kęstutis Lapinskas and Egidijus Jarašiūnas to prepare a combined text of the draft Constitution by 1st September, 1992, and to start it considering in the Group of Coordination of Constitutional Issues and in the Commission for Preparation of Constitution on 3rd September. It was decide to present the combined draft Constitution in the Supreme Council on 10th-11th of September, and on 17th-25th September, 1992, to organize a reading of the draft Constitution in the Supreme Council, its approval (by the absolute majority of all deputy votes) and submission for the referendum on 25th October, 1992.

In the meeting of the Supreme Council of 7th October, 1992, Vytautas Landsbergis, Chairperson of the Supreme Council reported that the Interim Commission for Preparation of the Constitution was successful in preparing the combined draft Constitution.

On 10th October, 1992, the draft Law of the Republic of Lithuania On the Referendum on the Issue of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania determined general principles of realization of the referendum, referendum agitation, publicity in organizing and carrying out the referendum, the procedure of expenses related with organization and realization of the referendum, and liability for a violation of this law. It was determined, which commissions would carry out the referendum, what their functions were. The procedure of Voting and Counting of Votes was determined; it was decided on determination of the results of the referendum.

By the resolution On the Draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania of 13th October, 1992 the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania decided to approve the draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. On the same day, the draft Law on the Procedure of Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania was approved. The Seimas archive stores roll-call voting cards of deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania on 13th October, 1992 regarding the approval of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Seimas archive stores the registration minutes of deputies of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, who participated in the voting for the draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania on 13th January, 1992. The list includes 128 deputies, 106 out of which were registered for the voting.

By the decree of the chairperson of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania V. Landsbergis, the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania adopted in the referendum of 25th October, 1992, and the Law of the Republic of Lithuania On the Procedure of Entry into Force of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania were promulgated and came into force on 2nd November, 1992. The Seimas archive stores the speech of Chairperson of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania V. Landsbergis, pronounced on the occasion of solemn signing of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania on 6th November, 1992 on 12 o'clock in the Meeting Hall of the Praesidium.

 

Documents of Draft Preparation Working Group

Among the preparation documents of the Constitution stored in the Seimas archive, the Interim Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania of 11th March, 1990, the draft of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Lithuania On the President of the Republic of Lithuania of 11th March, 1990, the draft Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Amendment and Supplement of the Interim Basic Law of the Republic of Lithuania in Relation with the Re-establishment of the Institution of President of the Republic of Lithuania of the 11th March, 1990 are stored. The Seimas archive also stores the draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania prepared by a group of authors – Lithuanian lawyers and philosophers – in May, 1990, the framework of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania of 7th November, 1990, the draft Constitution of 7th October, 1992.

Different versions of draft Constitutions were also provided by individuals. The Seimas stores the draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania by Algimantas Gureckas on 20th November, 1990, and his proposals regarding the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. It also stores the draft Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania prepared by Kęstutis Lapinskas of 27th November, 1990.

The Seimas archive stores memoranda of participants of the Constitution preparation working group Lowry Wyman, Scientific Associate of Harvard University, and her husband, Barnabas D. Johnson, regarding the establishment of the constitutional government in Independent Lithuania, proposals for strengthening independence of Lithuania, for the Law on Political Parties, a memorandum regarding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, restitution of confiscated property and compensation for such property, remarks regarding the legal authority. It also stores a memorandum of Algimantas Dziegoraitis, Bronius Nemickas, Artūras Paulauskas, Gediminas Šerkšnys, Lowry Wyman to the draft Constitution preparation group of the Supreme Council regarding the initial framework of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania.

In its first meetings, the draft Constitution preparation group decided On the Most Important Provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania. It was decided that the Constitution has to establish a democratic state with a rule of law, to guarantee wide human and citizen's rights, to reflect the traditions of the Lithuanian state, its continuity and succession. In other meetings, separate sections of the Constitution were considered, the version of the presidential form of government was analyzed.

 

The Commission for Investigating KGB Activities in Lithuania

The Interim Commission for Investigating KGB Activities in Lithuania was founded by the resolution of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania On the Investigation of KGB Activities in Lithuania of 24th August, 1991. Balys Grajauskas was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission. Its members also included Kazimieras Motieka, vice-chairperson, Algirdas Endriukaitis, Egidijus Jarašiūnas, Jurgis Jurgelis, Algirdas Kumža, Česlovas Okinčicas, Zita Šličytė, Vidmantas Žiemelis.

The Seimas archive stores the minutes of the Commission for Investigating KGB Activities in Lithuania from 5th November, 1991 to 19th November, 1992.

The main functions of the Commission were to direct the commissions formed by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania and municipalities by overtaking all the property, archives and other documentation stored in Soviet Union KGB departments in Lithuania, to investigate all the activities of Soviet Union KGB in Lithuania in order to terminate it entirely. In case of finding files of cooperation a deputy or state official of any level with KGB in Soviet Union KGB departments in Lithuania, the Commission, after having checked these files, had to present them to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania immediately. In carrying out its activities, the lists of officers, their telephone numbers, and archives were available to the Commission, but the Commission did not succeed to get the lists of KGB officers, lists of reserve officers.[7]

The Seimas archive stores minutes containing explanations of deputies of the Supreme Council regarding the potential cooperation with KGB, the Commission's considerations and resolutions, what KGB documents had to be deemed to be the state's secret. The Seimas archive also stores roll-call voting cards of deputies of the Supreme Council of 17th December, 1991 regarding checking the mandates of the deputies that were suspected of intentional cooperation with the special services. Among the activity documents of deputies, fractions, commissions of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania stored in the Seimas archive, a statement of the Central Fraction of Sąjūdis on distrust of the activities of the Interim Commission for Investigating KGB Activities in Lithuania of 30th March, 1990 is stored.

 

Strengthening of Independence of Lithuania and Its Defense Against the Aggression of the USSR in 1990–1991

Decisions of the 3rd USSR Congress of People's Deputies

On 15th March, 1990, the 3rd USSR Congress of People's Deputies adopted a resolution in which the restoration of independence of the Republic of Lithuania was announced illegal and invalid. 1463 deputies voted for this resolution, 98 voted against, and 128 abstained.[8] After the Congress, the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union in its statement noted that all the objects subordinate to the Union in the territory of Lithuania are the USSR's property, and the Supreme Board of Customs, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the State's Security Committee would continue ensuring the regime of customs, and state border control in the Republic of Lithuania.

On 16th March, 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the USSR sent a telegram to Vytautas Landsbergis, Chairperson of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, whereby it was demanded to announce the cancellation of the Act of Restoration of Independence of Lithuania within two days. The Supreme Council rejected the demand of USSR President M. Gorbachev to cancel the Act of Restoration of Independence of Lithuania, and adopted an allocution to all the citizens of the Republic regarding unity and peace, to governments of democratic states regarding political and moral support, recognizing the legal acts and resolutions of the 11th March, 1990 and the new Government, while on 18th March, 1990, V. Landsbergis sent a letter to USSR President M. Gorbachev of the situation in Lithuania in which he explained that the resolution of the 3rd USSR Congress of People's Deputies had not legal basis. The text emphasizes that human rights in Lithuania are guaranteed by the laws of the Republic of Lithuania which comply with the generally accepted international norms and arrangements, and are defended by the Government and courts of the Republic of Lithuania.

On 23rd March, 1990, after the 3rd USSR Congress of People's Deputies, the Council of Ministers prohibited foreign journalists from coming into Lithuania, and ordered foreign diplomats to leave Lithuania. The Lithuanian public responded to the pressure of the USSR by gathering at the House of the Supreme Council in a meeting organized by the Sąjūdis in which the Lithuanian people expressed support to the new Government of the Republic of Lithuania the chairperson of which was appointed Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė, and vice-chairpersons – Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas and Romualdas Ozolas. However, not all the people of Lithuania accepted the restoration of Independence of Lithuania, and Pro-Soviet forces supported by the Soviet Union were acting in the territory of Lithuania. On 18th March, 1990, “Jedinstvo”[9] organized a meeting at the Supreme Council during which a “Committee of USSR citizens” was established. Its aim was not to recognize independence of Lithuania, to reach for retaining Lithuania in the composition of the USSR. From the start of its activities, the Committee announced that it followed the Constitution of the USSR and not Lithuanian SSR, and did not recognize the restoration of Independence of Lithuania. Around 30 thousand people participated in the meeting organized at the Palace of Sports, and military helicopters and airplanes of the Soviet Union were flying above Vilnius and other cities of Lithuania. The Seimas of RL archive stores documents of the meeting organized by “Jedinstvo” on 18th March, 1990: proclamations distributed in the meeting, the resolution that was adopted, the description of action of the meeting noting that the Committe of USSR Citizens was founded.

 

Objectives to Protect Lithuanian Citizens from Forced Service in USSR Army in Spring, 1990

After the declaration of Independence, Lithuanian young men were involuntarily summoned to USSR army. In order to protect Lithuanian from the forced service in the occupant Soviet army, on 12th March, 1990 the Supreme Council adopted a resolution On Non-Appliance of the USSR Law on Military Service to Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania in which it was stated that men were released from the duty to serve in the army of the Soviet Union. After the resolution of the Supreme Council many young men of military age refused to serve in the army of the Soviet Union, failed to come to military commissariats in time, refused to give the oath of a soldiers of the Soviet Union, used to hide, terminated their service and left military units. In the Allocution to the Chairperson of the Supreme Council of the USSR adopted on 13th March, 1990, the Supreme Council of Lithuania demanded the military forces of the USSR, its internal, state security and border army not to carry out maneuvers, redeployment and increasing the present levy in the territory of Lithuania by the end of negotiations. Further in the text, it expressed a wish that citizens of Lithuania that were outside the borders of the Republic of Lithuania – soldiers, officers and their families – were protected and returned to Lithuania without delay.

After the declaration of Independence restoration, USSR military commissariats continued their activities in the territory of Lithuania; they carried out illegal administration of military service, provision of reserve soldiers and officers, maintenance of military reserves. In order to stop the activities of military commissariats, the Supreme Council adopted the resolution On Termination of Activities of Military Commissariats of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR, Located in the Territory of the Republic of Lithuania of 14th March, 1990. The Seimas archive stores a telegram of Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania to the Minister of Defense of the USSR, Army General D. Jazov, Deputy General Prosecutor of the USSR, Chief Military Prosecutor Colonel-General A. Katusev, Leningrad Military District Military Commander Colonel-General Jermakov, commanders of military sections and units, in which information of the resolution of the of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of 12th March, 1990 was reported. The text noted that the soldiers who had left the army of the Soviet Union (Lithuanian young men) could not be deemed to be deserters, and applied criminal liability. By the letter of 27th July, 1990 to the Minister of Defense of the USSR D. Jazov, Prime Minister K. D. Prunskienė informs that the Government of the Republic of Lithuania has charged city and district executive bodies not to carry out the summons of young men to the real military service, as well as to terminate the economic service of military commissariats, as legal acts of the Soviet Union are not valid in Lithuania.

In order to take care of Lithuanian young men who were carrying out military service, on 17th March, 1990, the Supreme Council adopted a resolution On Formation of the Interim Commission for Deciding Issued of Returning Lithuanian Citizens serving in USSR Military Forces from Deputies of the Supreme Council Audrius Butkevičius, Arūnas Degutis, Vidmantė Jasukaitytė, Virginijus Pikturna, Jonas Šimėnas, Mečys Laurinkus being appointed the chairperson of the commission. The adopted resolution was accompanied by the allocution of the Supreme Council to citizens of the Republic of Lithuania serving in USSR military forces in which soldiers were prompted to stay in the places of service until the issued of their returning to Lithuania is solved. Further in the text soldiers are invited not to give reasons to conflicts and to inform the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of their place and conditions of service.

While the number of Lithuanian withdrawing themselves from service in USSR army was increasing, a need to take care of them and to protect them from persecution of USSR military structures arose, therefore on 20th March, 1990, the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a resolution On the Legal Status of Persons Who Have Left Military Units of USSR Armed Forces, and it was planned to established their state patronage in the Republic of Lithuania and to ensure the protection of their citizen rights. For this purpose, the Praesidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania was charged with the duty to register such persons, and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Lithuania – to solve the issues of their accommodation, employment and personal protection.

The Red Cross Society carrying out activities in Lithuania proposed its help to the Council of Ministers of Lithuania in establishing state patronage for the Lithuanians who left USSR army. By the decree of the Government of Lithuania of 22nd March, 1990, a division of the Red Cross of Lithuania was founded the aim of which was to patronize the citizens of Lithuania that had withdrawn from USSR army. The Ministry of Health provided the patronage department with premises to in the Republican Psychiatric Hospital in Naujoji Vilnia, and Marijonas Misiukonis, Minister of Internal Affairs was charged with a duty to ensure the necessary living conditions of these young men of the Republic of Lithuania as well as their protection.

The Soviet Union started threatening to use military force – on 21st March, 1990, Baltic Military District Commander Colonel-General Fiodor Kuzmin ordered all the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who had withdrawn from USSR military forces after 11th March, 1990 to return to their military unites within 4 days. It was planned to return the ones who disobeyed the order to USSR army by force. Soon the threatening to use force was realised – on 27th March, Soviet paratroopers occupied the Patronage Division for Lithuanian citizens who had withdrawn from USSR army of the Lithuanian Red Cross Society located in the Psychiatric Hospital of Naujoji Vilnia. USSR paratroopers broke the door, broke the telephone connection, bet the young men who had withdrawn from the Soviet army and took them away by force. Negatives of Jonas Česnavičius have recorded participants of a picket against summoning young men of Lithuania to the army of the Soviet Union at the building of the Radio and Television Committee who were holding banners with words: “Mother, please defend me”, “135 children of Lithuania have died in Afghanistan”, “NO for the tactics of fooling”. The negative has captured the mother of a Lithuanian young man who was serving in the armed forces of the Soviet Union, delivering a speech during the picket.

After the attacks of Soviet paratroopers against the Lithuanian citizens who had withdrawn from USSR army, on 31st March, 1990, the Supreme Council stated that the Republic of Lithuania had no physical power to defend its citizens from violence in other way than addressing international organizations and the global community with a request of support and assistance.

 

Occupations of Buildings Carried Out by USSR Soldiers in March–April, 1990

After the restoration of independence, military units of the Soviet Union moved unsanctioned across the territory of Lithuania, seizing buildings with strategic importance. On 23rd March, 1990, the first aggression act of the armed Soviet forces against citizens of Independent Lithuania was committed – in Marijampolė, Soviet paratroopers forayed into a pedagogical school, bet one teacher and seized training weapons from the military room. On the same day, representatives of the Lithuanian Communist Party section that had not separated itself from the CPSU (the CPSU platform), supported by soldiers of Vilnius Soviet Commandant occupied Vilnius City Palace of the Lithuanian Communist Party. Upon the start of building seizures, an additional military contingent was entered – Soviet military airplanes brought around three thousand paratroopers to the military airport of Kėdainiai on 23rd March, 1990. Prime Minister K. D. Prunskienė reacted to the situation by sending a telegram to USSR President M. Gorbachev and USSR Prime Minister N. Ryzhkov whereby she expressed her concern of the increase in number of Soviet armed forces in Lithuania and their alarming actions threatening independence of Lithuania.

On 24th March, 1990, around 30 Soviet paratroopers seized the buildings of the Higher Party School and the House of Political Education in Vilnius, as well as the House of Political Education in Kaunas and the building of Lithuania Communist Party in Zarasai District. In the early morning of 27th March, 1990, motivating by claims in respect of the property by the Lithuanian Communist Party, Soviet army paratrooper unit seized the building of the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party in Vilnius, a printing house and bet some of employees of the printing house. In order to disturb and terminate the activities of law enforcement bodies of the Republic of Lithuania, on 30th March, 1990, Soviet army soldiers seized the building of the Prosecutor's Service of the Republic of Lithuania in Vilnius. Armed guards standing at the building of the Prosecutor's Service did not allow Artūras Paulauskas, General Prosecutor of Lithuania and loyal employees of the Prosecutors' Service entering the premises.[10]

After the attacks of armed military forces of the Soviet Union, on 22nd March, 1990, the Supreme Council adopted an Allocution to Peoples, Governments and People of Good Will of the World, in which it stated a fear that another state was going to exercise duress against the Republic of Lithuania and its citizens. Further in the text, the world's community was asked to prevent the potential use of violence against Lithuania and its citizens by protests.

The public of Lithuania get involved into defence of independence restitution. In Vilnius. On 7th April, 1990, a meeting was held. Around 300 thousand of Lithuanian people who supported independence of Lithuania gathered into the meeting. Photographs and negative of Vytautas Daraškevičius have captured a crowd of hundreds of thousands of Lithuanian people who participated in the meeting of Independence support, Lithuanian people holding tricolors, Vytis emblems, banners with words: “Lithuania will be free”, “The iron will melt into the wax and the water will turn into the stone sooner than we revoke the word pronounced”, “Let them know and remember forever that force will not enslave a free nation ever”. Negatives of Algirdas Sabaliauskas have captured V. Landsbergis, Chairperson of the Supreme Council, Arūnas Vytautas Žebriūnas, Member of Sąjūdis Initiative Group, who were delivering speeches, K. D. Prunskienė, Prime Minister, R. Ozolas, Deputy Prime Minister, Č. V. Stankevičius, Vice-Chairperson of the Supreme Council, who participated in the meeting. On 12th April, 1990, around 10 thousand students from different higher schools of Lithuania gathered in Vilnius at the House of the Supreme Council into a manifestation in protest to the building seizures carried out by the Soviet army. Photographs of Vytautas Daraškevičius have captured a column of young people marching along Gediminas Av., a crowd of young people gathered in a manifestation at the House of the Supreme Council, students, holding a banner with words: “Red army go home”, “Just do not scare us”, students of Kaunas Polytechnics Institute holding a banner with words “VPI P Be strong, we are with you! KPI T9/1“. Negatives of Algirdas Sabaliauskas have captured V. Landsbergis, Chairperson of the Supreme Council, delivering a speech of the stairs of Martynas Mažvydas Library, young men, holding pictures with images of the saints, students playing the Baltic psaltery, burning military tickets of the Soviet Union.

 

Economic Blockade of the Soviet Union: April–July, 1990

On 13th April, 1990, M. Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, and N. Ryzhkov, Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of the USSR sent a letter to the Supreme Council of Lithuania and the Council of Ministers of Lithuania whereby they demanded the Supreme Council of Lithuania and the Council of Ministers to revoke the decisions they had adopted and to restore the situation in Lithuania before 11th March, 1990 within two days. The letter stated that in case these demands are not fulfilled, instructions to stop provision of production from other USSR union republics to Lithuania which was realized in the foreign market for a freely convertible currency would be given. On 18th April, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, after having considered these demands and their substantiation, adopted the resolution On the Development of Relations of the Republic of Lithuania and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, in which the Supreme Council cinfirmed its loyalty to the acts adopted on 11th March, 1990 and, consistently seeking to reinforce independence of the Republic of Lithuania, expressed a belief that solutions acceptable to the Soviet Union and Lithuania could be found only through a dialogue, inviting the Soviet Union to refuse any constraints, including the economic ones, in respect to the Republic of Lithuania and its citizens. Further in the text, the Supreme Council prompted economic organizations and citizens of Lithuania to be disposed for economy of resources and spiritual stamina. On the same day, V. Landsbergis, Chairperson of the Supreme Council, sent a letter to M. Gorbachev, President of the Soviet Union, and N. Ryzhkov, Chairperson of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, in which the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania expressed a regret regarding the position of the USSR and its methods applied to Lithuania, confirmed readiness of the Supreme Council to consider any intrastate issues taking into account any legal interests of the USSR and, first of all, its citizens.

On 18th April, 1990, at 9:25 p.m., the Soviet Union stopped supplying oil to Mažeikiai oil refinery, and on the next day, it minimized the supply of gas, thus starting the economic blockade to Lithuania. In response to this situation, on 19th April, 1990, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania formed a Commission for Coordination the Issued of Provision with Fuel and Other Energetic Resources of Lithuanian Economy from representatives of the Government and heads of energetic enterprises. Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission.

The Soviet Union, having started the economic blockade against Lithuania, did not limit itself with the blockade – on 20th April, 1990 soviet soldiers armed with batons and gas sprays seized the printing house of a Lithuanian publishing enterprise “Spauda” and the buildings located at Maironio St. 1. During the seizure around 30 combatant militia supporters were injured; among them there was Zigmas Vaišvila, deputy of the Supreme Council. Photographs of Vytautas Daraškevičius have captured participants of the meeting at the printing house in Maironio St., holding the flags of Lithuanian banners with slogans demanding to return the seized buildings. They have captured soviet militiamen armed with batons having surrounded the building and preventing the protestants from getting inside.

With regard to the shortage of raw material, on 24th April, 1990, the Supreme Council adopted the resolution On Forming a Commission for Preparation and Implementation of a Plan of Anti-Blockade Measures. The following deputies of the Supreme Council were appointed as members of the Commission; Aleksandras Ambrazevičius, Kazimieras Antanavičius, Virgilijus Juozas Čepaitis, Antanas Karoblis, Juozas Karvelis, Stasys Malkevičius, Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, Mečislovas Treinys, Gediminas Vagnorius, Eduardas Vilkas, Alfonsas Žalys and members of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania: Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė, Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas, Leonas Vaidotas Ašmantas, Rimvydas Jasinavičius, Romualdas Kozyrovičius, Pranas Kūris, Vytas Navickas, Romualdas Sikorskis, Albertas Sinevičius, Bronius Povilaitis. Prime Minister Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė was appointed as the chairperson of the Commission. The Seimas archive stores minutes of meetings of the Commissions of Anti-Blockade Measures, prepared reviews on the possible anti-blockade measures, such as recovery of the preserved oil fields, major repairs of Klaipėdos Nafta, reduction of state budget assignations to the activities that are not of the first necessity. Correspondence with Ministries of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the application of anti-blockade measures. Reports of the available stock, fuel and their shortage, lists of Lithuanian production offered for export.

The State Commission prepared a plan of anti-blockade measures which, after its readings, was adopted by the Supreme Council during the 50th meeting on 25th April of 1990 by the law On Interim Measures at the Conditions of the Blockade exercised by the USSR, in which it was provided for a reorganization of production, centralized use of material and financial resources of local municipalities, to introduce normed sales of the most necessary articles, protecting the property of the state of the Republic of Lithuania from embezzlement and malicious removal, it was provided for a prohibition of export of production and raw materials without the Government's permission outside the borders of Lithuania.

The society started the initiative of collecting the funds for solving the outcomes if the economic blockade, for which the necessary raw material could be purchased. In response to the initiative of the public, on 30th April, 1990, the Praesidium of the Supreme Council adopted the resolution On the Provisions of the State Public Blockade Fund of Lithuania and Approval of the Fund's Commission from Deputies of the Supreme Council: Zbignevas Balcevičius, Birutė Nedzinskienė, representative of the Sąjūdis of Lithuania Julius Juzeliūnas, economist of Social Bank Planning and Economic Board Giedrius Burneika, Vice-Chairperson of the Confederation of Free Professional Unions of Lithuania Virginija Končiuvienė, Chairperson of the Society of the Disabled of Lithuania Jonas Mačiukevičius, Head of the Family Support Department of the Ministry of Social Protection of the Republic of Lithuania Stanislovas Trilikauskas, senior consultant of the Social-Economic Group of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania Beirutas Vaitulionis. Deputy of the Supreme Council Audrius Rudis was appointed as the chairperson of the State Public Blockade Fund of Lithuania. The provisions of the State Public Blockade Fund state that the State Commission founds the fund for the preparation and implementation of a plan of anti-blockade measures, considering the initiative of the public. The resources collected by the fund were used for supporting the permanent residents of Lithuania who had fully or partially lost their earnings in result of the economic blockade exercised by the Soviet Union, and the material situation of such persons and their families had become serious: for families of poor welfare, large families, single elderly people or the disabled whose income had reduced in result of the blockade's outcomes, and had reduced for other needs of Lithuanian people arising because of the extraordinary conditions. Funds of the fund the departments of which were operating in all the municipalities consisted of contributions of residents, enterprises and organizations and movements of the Republic of Lithuania and other states, donations in currency and in other tangibles.

The Seimas archive stores minutes of meetings of the State Public Blockade Fund concerning the consideration of the regulations of the fund, the -procedure of granting and paying benefits, protection of funds of the blockade fund from depreciation by their investment into liquid goods. It also stores telegrams and reports of the resources donated by people, enterprises, state institutions, non-governmental organizations, residents of Moscow city, Austrian company Sekon to the State Public Blockade Fund. Letters of citizens and farmers of Lithuania with proposals regarding the introduction of the state's rebalancing tax, deduction of contributions to the blockade fund from the salary, use of the fund's resources, also applications of individuals, organizations to grant benefits from the Blockade Fund can also be found in the Seimas archive. For example, the Seimas archive stores an application of the Mercy and Health Fund of Lithuania on granting resources from the Blockade Fund for supporting poor people and people who have suffered a disaster, for continuing their free catering, correspondence of the Fund's chairperson Audrius Rudis regarding the investment of the fund's resources, as well as regarding the interim storage of the purchased jewelry. The archive of Vytautas Viliūnas stores an announcement of the initiative group of Marijmpolė Pedagogic Music School of O. Sukackienė regarding allocation of funds to the Economic Blockade Fund, an announcement of the direction of Marijmpolė Pedagogic Music School of O. Sukackienė to schoolchildren regarding the economic blockade, as well as the list of the school's benefactors to the Blockade Fund.

On 26th April, 1990, Stanislovas Žemaitis, a 52 year-old man from Marijampolė, burned himself in Moscow in front of the Great Theatre in protest against the blockade announced by the Soviet Union. On the next day, the society of Moscow “Memorial” built a banner in the place where the Lithuanian had burned himself: “Here a Lithuanian Stanislovas Žemaitis burned himself on 26th April in protest against the occupation of his homeland and the economic blockade. Give peace to his soul, o Lord.”[11] On 29th April, 1990, cyclists organized a protest riding with banners against the economic blockade of the Soviet Union in a demonstration from the Independence Square. Negatives of Algirdas Sabaliauskas have captured the cyclists who had gathered into the demonstration at the Supreme Council, holding banners with words: “The sun shines without oil”, “Perestroijka – Glasnost. Blockade“, a column of cyclists starting moving from the Independence Square, moving along the streets of Vilnius city. On 19th May, 1990, the Lithuanian Union of Workers organized a meeting at the Supreme Council, in which the economic blockade exercised by the Soviet Union against Lithuania was condemned. A photograph of Jonas Česnavičius has captured the participants of the meeting who are standing on the stairs of Martynas Mažvydas Library, a representative of the Lithuanian Union of Workers delivering a speech.

When more than one month after the start from the economic blockade of the USSR had passed, on 23rd May, 1990 the Supreme Council addresses The Peoples of the World Concerning the Economic Blockade of the Republic of Lithuania. The economic blockade carried out by the Union of SSR was named as economic aggression which had caused legal effects as any other form of aggression. Further the text notes that the actions of the Unions of SSR infringe the Charter of Economic Rights and Duties of States adopted by the UN General Assembly on 12th December, 1974. Lithuania asks to make international impact to the Union of SSR – a member of the UNO – by all the measures available so that it stopped non-human actions against residents of the Republic of Lithuania which contradicted the international legal norms.

On 23rd May, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted a resolution in which it was stated that the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania decided to suspend those realization actions and decisions arising out of the acts of 11th March, 1990 of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania which were related with those interests were defined by both parties as the object of negotiations for the period of the official interstate negotiations. The Seimas archive stores roll-call voting cards of deputies of the Supreme Council of 23rd May, 1990, whereby they were voting for the resolution to suspend the actions and decisions arising out of the Act of 11th March, 1990. 75 deputies voted “for”, 15 –“against”, 10 deputies abstained.

After ten days of reading during which fourteen draft moratoriums were prepared, on 29th June, 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania announced the moratorium of the act of 11th March, 1990. The adopted statement announced that the moratorium of 100 days would come into force only from the start of negotiations with the USSR. Only those legal actions that were rising out of the act would be stopped. The moratorium could be extended or revoked. It would lose its force automatically in case of termination of the negotiations. The moratorium would also lose its force in case the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania of that time would not be able to carry out the functions of the state's authority normally. The proposals, responses and remarks of people of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the moratorium that were sent to Chairman of the Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis, the State Negotiations Delegation of Lithuania, its chairperson Vytautas Česlovas Stakevčius, stored in the Seimas archive, demand to strictly define the declaration of the moratorium, pronounce against the declaration of moratorium, propose not to hurry with declaration of moratorium, express doubts of the necessity of moratorium, express fears that the moratorium can be used by the forces set against independence of Lithuania.

On 30th June, 1990, the economic blockade of Lithuania was terminated – oil started flowing from the Soviet Union to Mažeikiai oil refinery, and on 6th July, 1990, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union send a circular letter to consular services in which it indicated that the limits to enter into Lithuania were eliminated for the period of negotiations between the USSR and the Lithuanian SSR; the railway blocked was also terminated on the next day.

 

Armed Attacks of Officers of the Soviet Union in January–March of 1991

On 7th January, 1991, Baltic Military District Commander F. Kuzmin, carrying out the order of President M. Gorbachev on the enforcement of conscription of young men into the Soviet army performed in the previous year, informed Chairperson of the Supreme Council V. Landsbergis by telephone that by the order of USSR Minister of Defence D. Jazov, a forced collection of young men into USSR army was started, and a special division of parachutists would be used. On 8th January, 1991, an additional introduction of armed forced of the Soviet Union into Lithuania was started. The military crew of Vilnius Northtown was reinforced by 100 military cars and armored vehicles. More than 30 military airplanes of the Soviet Union landed to Šiauliai Military Airport which brought soldiers of USSR paratrooper units, while on 9th January, 1991, the first USSR army airplane IL-76 landed in Vilnius Airport which brought paratroopers of Pskov division and a group of high-ranked soldiers of the Soviet army.

Pro-soviet forces or powers hostile to statehood and independence of Lithuania started acting against independence of Lithuania along with the increasing pressure of the USSR and the Soviet army in Lithuania. Already from the morning of 8th January, 1991, people who were invited by “Jedinstvo” and platformers of the Communist Party of Lithuania lead by Mykolas Burokevičius having taken the advantage of the rise in food prices were crowding at the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. The crowd included men armed with stones and iron bars. In the meeting of around 3 thousand of people, it was incited to overthrow the Government of Lithuania and the Chairperson of the Supreme Council, pronounced against independence of Lithuania and agitated for returning into the USSR. During the meeting of pro-Soviet forces, V. Landsbergis, Chairperson of the Supreme Council, invited Lithuanian people from the meeting hall through the radio and television to come to the House of the Supreme Council to support their authorities. Around 20 thousand Lithuanian people gathered in a legal meeting supporting the authorities of Lithuania. After the allocution of the Chairperson of the Supreme Council, the participants of the meeting of “Jedinstvo” and platformers of the Communist Party of Lithuania attacked the central entrance – threw stones to the windows, wrenched open the door and started forcing their way inside the Supreme Council. 30 people succeeded to force their way in, but soon the security staff that were on the watch inside pushed them outside.

Unrest and unsanctioned pro-Soviet meetings at the Supreme Council continued by 9th January 1991 – activists of “Jedinstvo” and workers of enterprises subordinate to the Union gathered in the Independence Square. The crowd was demanding to introduce the governance of USSR President in Lithuania, pronounced against the legal authorities and independence of Lithuania. On the other side of the square, thousands of Vilnius residents who had gathered by the invitation of Chairperson of the Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis were chanting the word “Lithuania”, “Landsbergis” and sang Lithuanian songs thus expressing their support to independence of Lithuania.

Since the very beginning of January, 1991, people from all over Lithuania were standing on watch at the Supreme Council and other strategic buildings, defending the main buildings against the potential attempts of Soviet soldiers to seize them. On 10th January, 1991, a list which indicated the districts of Vilnius or Lithuanian towns the residents of which would be on the watch at the Parliament of Lithuania on the coming days was made. On 11th–12th of January, patriotically minded citizens, families, organized workers of plants and factories, collective farms and Soviet farms, collectives of enterprises and organizations, university students started going to defend the Parliament and other important buildings.

On 11th January, 1991, Soviet military rampage started all over Lithuania: different buildings were stormed and seized; in Kaunas, soldiers of the Soviet Union used force and seized the premises belonging to the Voluntary Society for the Support of the Army, Air Force and Navy and the hotel “Vairas” located nearby. In Alytus USSR paratroopers seized the building of the Technical School in the premises of which Alytus division of the National Defense Department of the Republic of Lithuania was located. USSR soldiers surrounded by their armored vehicles and later seized the office of the National Defense Department of the Republic of Lithuania in Vilnius, Viršuliškių St. Tanks and armed vehicles of the army of the Soviet Union seized the Press House in Vilnius. During its seizure, USSR soldiers used combatant firearms – Vytautas Lukšys, an employee of the National Defense Department, who tried to struggle, was injured in the head, Arvydas Kvičkauskas and Algis Vaičiukas were injured by bullets, several other persons were bet and injured. In the evening USSRR soldiers seized and desolated the premises of Vilnius branch of the National Defence Department in T. Kosciuškos St., occupied the retransmission center of the Television of Nemenčinė. On 11st January, 1991, at 11 p.m., the traffic of trains was stopped when one armored vehicle broke into the dispatcher’s office of Vilnius Railway Station. Photographs of Juozas Kazlauskas and Aleksandras Juozapaitis have captured the assault of the Press House in Vilnius by soldiers of Soviet Union army on 11th March, 1991. The photographs show how military equipment of the occupational army move and concentrate around the Press House, how Soviet soldiers are getting prepared for the assault, the entrances blocked with barricades by employees of the Press House, Lithuanian citizens who are trying to stop USSR soldiers.

On 11th January, 1991, Vytautas Landsbergis, Chairperson of the Supreme Council, and Albertas Šimėnas, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania received an ultimatum from the so-called “Congress of Democratic Forces of Lithuania” which noted: On behalf of tye best part of Lithuanian working people, the workers, peasants, intellectuals we demand the Supreme Council and the Government to accept the demands of the President of the USSR by 3 p.m. of 11th January, 1991 according to the local time, and to restore the USSR Constitution and the Constitution of the Lithuanian SSR in the territory of Lithuania immediately. Should our demand be not fulfilled by 3 p.m., we are going to establish a committee of national rescue which will be taking care of the future of the LSSR. When the authorities of Lithuanian refused to meet the illegal demands, Juozas Jermalavičius, Head of the Ideological Department of the Communist Party, announced that “the Committee of Rescue of the Lithuanian SSR” had been established in Lithuania which had overtaken all the powers in the Republic into its hands, and the army of the Soviet Union is a guarantee of functioning of USSR Constitution in the territory of Lithuania.

When the armed attack of the Soviet Union against Lithuania started, the supreme authority institutions of the Republic of Lithuania were trying to defend independence of Lithuania by all peaceful measures. The Government organized a meeting and adopted an Allocution to the Governments of all the States of the World whereby it asked to provide all the possible support at the difficult time for the state of Lithuania when there was a risk of violent removal of the Government, and they were prompted to recognize the State of Lithuania de jure without delay. After the seizure of the buildings, Algirdas Saudargas, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania sent a protest nota to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union which expressed a concern regarding the violence of the Soviet army in Lithuania. The Supreme Council adopted an Allocution to the people of Lithuania which noted that the aggressive actions carried out even by using the armed force threatened the independence of Lithuania. The Seimas archive stores bulletins of the Informational Centre of the Supreme Council according to the operative information collected from reports of municipality watchmen, responsible officers of ministries, citizens about the movement and patrolling of USSR soldiers, seizures of young men of military age, exercised provocations, activities of ministries and the state in the sphere of their management, reviews of information programs and their running commentaries in the Soviet Union related with Lithuania.

On 13th January, 1991, the Soviet Union, under the guise of the concentrated world's attention to the Persian Gulf crisis, continued the started attack against Lithuania. Some time after the midnight, Soviet soldiers used military equipment and armament seized the depot of the Separate Special-Purpose Militia Squad of Ministry of Internal Affairs of Lithuania, around 30 of Lithuania militiamen switched to the side of the enemy. The Seimas archive stores the allocutions, statements, protests, telegrams of Lithuanian citizens, families, relatives, residential communities, universities, students, state farms farmers, shopkeepers, government agencies and institutions, various corporate groups, non-governmental organizations, schools and teachers, university lecturers and university departments, deputies of district councils, international train passengers sent to President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania in which they express support to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, its Chairperson Vytautas Landsbergis and the Government, in protest against the seizures of buildings exercised by the armed forces of the Soviet Union, use of military force against weaponless people at the night of 13th January, 1991, demanding President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev to stop the military aggression against Lithuania, to withdraw the occupant army of the Soviet Union from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, not to interfere into the internal affairs of Lithuania, to stop the disinformation spread by USSR media of the situation in Lithuania, to find the perpetrators and to sue them, for example: The resolution of a meeting of employees, pupils and pupil parents of Skuodas District Šaukliai nine-grade school condemns the actions of the USSR and its protégés against freedom of the Lithuanian nation and its legal authority, demands to terminate the occupants' aggression without delay, to return the seized buildings, to identify the real perpetrators of the aggression and to punish them. The text further expresses support to the Parliament and the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, a belief that President of the USSR M. Gorbachev is not with the Nobel Peace Prize. In telegrams the aggression of the armed forces of the Soviet Union are identified as occupation, it is demanded for USSR President Mikhail Gorbachev's responsibility, the National Rescue Committee is not recognized, for example: In the allocution of a state enterprise “Daila” located in Vilnius, signed by 178 employees, the National Rescue Committee is condemned who by the help of the Soviet army tried to carry out the state's overturn in Lithuania, the anti-constitutional activities are condemned. The letter of surgeons of Plungė District Hospital demands to strictly punish Naudžiūnas Lazutka, Švedas, Burokevičius, Jarmalavičius and other communist collaborators who acted on behalf of the National Rescue Committee.

The Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, evaluating the nature and scope of the events, adopted the resolution On Defense Measures of the Republic of Lithuania in which the actions of the USSR are names as open military aggression which has to be terminated immediately. It is planned to form the Interim Management of Defense of the Republic of Lithuania, and it is noted that in case of attacks of the main state objects, the Departments of the Internal Affairs and National Defense of the Republic of Lithuania have the right to oppose any attackers. The Interim Management of Defence consisted of deputies of the Supreme Council Vytautas Landsbergis, Gediminas Vagnorius, Zigmas Vaišvila, Audrius Butkevičius, Vaclovas Zabarauskas, Mečys Laurinkus, Romualdas Ozolas, Aleksandras Algirdas Abišala. The archive of the Seimas of Lithuania stores minutes of meetings of the Interim Management of Defense on the measures of the state's defense, on the movement of soldiers and equipment of the Soviet army, on the illegal actions of USSR army and their damage to Lithuania.

On 13th January, 1991, after the midnight, tanks, armored vehicles and armed soldiers of the Soviet army stormed the TV Tower and the building of the Radio and Television of Lithuania in Vilnius by using firearms which were guarded against the attack by Lithuanian people. During this bloody campaign, 13 civilians were killed and more than 500 were injured. The following persons were tragically killed: Loreta Asanavičiūtė, Virginijus Druskis, Darius Gerbutavičius, Rolandas Jankauskas, Rimantas Juknevičius, Alvydas Kanapinskas, Algimantas Petras Kavoliukas, Titas Masiulis, Alvydas Matulka, Apolinaras Juozas Povilaitis, Ignas Šimulionis, Vytautas Vaitkus, Vidas Maciulevičius, Vytautas Kancevičius (died because of gunshot wounds on 18th February, 1991). In storming the building of the Television and Radio, a paratrooper of the USSR Viktoras Šackichas was shot by his companions with a bullet in his back.

The Seimas archive stores operative information received by the Informational Centre of the Supreme Council on 13th January – 5th March, 1991 from by telephones from responsible persons of different towns and districts of Lithuania citizens about the conduct of Soviet Union soldiers, movement of military convoys, barriers installed by the soldiers, checking points, the buildings that were broken in and seized, patrolling of the armed soldiers, attacks on the civilians, caused damages misappropriated documents. Photographs of Juozas Kazlauskas and Algirdas Sabaliauskas have captured armed soldiers of the Soviet Union, Lithuanian citizens with flags who have surrounded the tower, burning fires, the honoring ceremony of the victims who have died at the TV Tower, flowers and burning candles. Photographs of Ričardas Grigas have captured Soviet soldiers guarding the TV Tower after its occupation, military vehicles situated at the foot of the hill. The allocution of the people who were defending the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania on 13th January, 1991, the Last S.O.S. to the World, is stored, in which the military aggression of the Soviet Union against Lithuania is described, the determination of the Lithuanian nation to defend independence of Lithuania is emphasized, the confidence in and support for democratically elected legal authorities – the Supreme Council led by Vytautas Landsbergis and its appointed Government is expressed. Further the text condemns the aggression of the Soviet Union against Lithuania and addresses the states of the world asking to recognize independence of Lithuania “de jure and de facto” and to save it from the further aggression of the Soviet Union. The allocution was signed by defenders of the Parliament. The Seimas archive stores sympathy telegrams, letters of Lithuanian citizens, enterprises, institutions for the relatives of the victims who died on 13th January, 1991, to the Supreme Council, Lithuanian people, recurrences to states of the world with requests for help, e.g., the allocution of 68 professors of Kaunas High Technical School to the Council of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and its Chairperson Boris Yeltsin which condemns the aggression against Lithuanian people exercised on 13th January, 1991, expresses gratitude for the moral and political support to Lithuanian people.

The Seimas archive stores the list of Lithuanian citizens who were injured on 13th January, 1991 during the outburst of Soviet Union aggression, memories and testimonies of TV Tower defenders, independent military expert evaluations and event chronology of the aggression of the Soviet Union on 13th January, 1991, reports of the Supreme Council of occupied buildings, of the aggression of the Soviets on 13th January, 1991, a certificate of the Department of Statistics of economic losses of the Republic of Lithuania caused by the aggression of armed forces of the Soviet Union on 13th January, 1991, chronology of the aggression exercised by the armed forces of the Soviet Union during 22nd November, 1990 – 18th July, 1991, a summary of victims, a statement of the General Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the aggression exercised by the armed forces of the Soviet Union on 11th–13th of January, 1991, a statement of the Human Rights Committee of the United Nations on cessation of USSR violence against civilians and ensuring the of human rights in Lithuania.

The Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania which had evaluated the actions of the Soviet Union as a military attack against Lithuania, granted authorizations to Algirdas Saudargas who had departed to Poland to represent Lithuania abroad and to form the Government of the Republic of Lithuania in emigration in case of termination of activities of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania. The Supreme Council addresses all the people of the Soviet Union and reminded that the tragedy of Lithuania is their tragedy, urging them to help stopping the aggression. In the allocution to the governments of the world, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania noted that the Union of SSR had started undeclared war against Lithuania; further in the text it requested to admit that the Union attacked another sovereign state.

After 11th–13th January, 1991, Lithuania received international support and backing. The leaders of the three Baltic States Vytautas Landsbergis, Anatolijus Gorbunovas, Arnoldas Rüütelis and Chairperson of the Supreme Council of the Russian FSR Boris Yeltsin announced a Statement to the United Nations, other international organizations, the parliaments and governments of the world's states regarding the actions that had been performed in respect of the Baltic States by the leaders of the Soviet Union. Together with the Statement, they adopted an Application to General Secretary of the UNO Javier Perez de Cuellar asking to convene an international conference for the solution of the issue of the Baltic States without delay. In a general statement, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of France and Germany announced that they condemned the attack on democracy and legitimacy, judged the material violation of the principles of the new Europe laid down in the Charter of Paris. In a release report, Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl expressed his deep concern of the events of the past days in Lithuania, expressed sympathy for the victims of the military violence and their families. The Political Committee of the NATO met for considering the situation and examined the latest notices of the cases of injury and death caused by the Soviet army's use of force in Lithuania. Prime Minister of Sweden Ingvar Carlsson expressed a protest to the USSR Ambassador, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Denmark Uffe Ellemann Jensen handed over a note of protest of behalf of the Government of his country to the USSR Ambassador, in which he emphasized that there could be no question about the long-term co-operation between the European Community and the USSR, when people were killed in Vilnius. Premiers of Iceland, Norway and Finland handed over protests regarding the actions of the Soviet Army in Vilnius to Mikhail Gorbachev through USSR ambassadors, Prime Minister of Canada Brian Mulroney sent a letter to Mikhail Gorbachev, condemning the violence used against the Lithuanian people and its democratically elected Government, and demanded M. Gorbachev to condemn the behavior of his country as soon as possible.[12] The international organization's Amnesty International Secretariat in London released a statement of the fact that thousands of Lithuanian collected at the TV Tower in order to prevent the Soviet army troops from forced seizure of the TV Tower on 13th January, 1991, and that the soldiers killed 13 armless demonstrators. The report told about the most important events of the several days in Lithuania and the response of the leaders of the Soviet Union. The Secretariat of Amnesty International announced that it would attempt collecting all the information of the acts of violence, and that it had already addresses the leaders of the Soviet Union so that it started a thorough and impartial investigation of these tragic events, made ​​the findings public and that the perpetrators would be convicted on the basis of international standards.

Meetings in support of Lithuania and protests against the aggression of the Soviet Union of 13th January, 1991 took place in different countries of the world. Deputies of the USSR, the SFSR of Russia, Moscow City Council and Moscow Region Council organized a meeting or protest “Today – Lithuania, tomorrow – Russia!”. Protesting participants of organizations “the Memorial” and “the Shield” joined the meeting. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who had collected in Maniežas Square were demanding Mikhail Gorbachev to resign, condemning the Communist Party. In the speeches it was told that Lithuania had the right to withdraw from the USSR. In the meeting in which 200 000 resident of Leningrad and a group of city deputies participated, the army's actions in Vilnius were condemned. Protest demonstrations were organized in the following cities of Russia: Krasnodar, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Omsk, Samara, Sverdlovsk, Irkutsk, Voronezh. Protest demonstrations took place in the following cities of Ukraine as well" Kiev, Odessa, Ternopol, Lviv, Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Lugansk, Simferopol. In Washington, representatives of the biggest professional unions of the USA joined the picket at the embassy of the USSR. In Australia, several hundreds of people protested at the iron gate of the representative office of the USSR. Protest demonstrations were organized in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide. In Paris, demonstrations against the violence committed by the Soviets in Lithuania were carried out. the crowd of around 50 thousands of people in Moscow was demanding President of the USSR M. Gorbachev to resign. Head of the SFSR of Russia B. Yeltsin demanded to investigate the massacre committed in Lithuania and Latvia and accused President of the USSR M. Gorbachev because of it. The Seimas archive stores support letters, allocutions, applications, telegrams regarding USSR aggression against Lithuania, received from Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Japan, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Costa Rica, Poland, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Switzerland, Germany in January, 1991 that were sent by state institutions, members of political parties, e.g., it stores a letter of independence support of the Italian political party Union del popolo Veneto with 102 signatures, telegrams of local governments of cities, e.g., a telegram of Warsaw Rada Praesidium, letters of university students, members of the academic society – university divisions, professors, students, e.g., the letter of a 18-year-old Italian student expressing concern of the aggression of the Soviet Union on 13th January, 1991, in which he talked about the necessity to investigate the case and to find the causers, in the support letter of Princeton University Professor Dr. Mark Pfeifer the use of weapons against the civilians is condemned, statements of religious communities, e.g., a statement of the United Church of Australia which condemns the aggression of Soviet soldiers, allocutions of non-governmental organizations, e.g., of the Free Liberal Organization, the Amnesty International. Social movements, e.g., a letter of Citizen Forum of Czechoslovakia expressed support to Lithuania and condemned aggression of the Soviet Union which was compared with the Spring of Prague of 1968 (signature pages containing more than 1500 signatures were annexed to the letter) statements of diplomats of foreign countries, e.g., a statement about the situation in Lithuania of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Taro Nakajama where he condemns the use of military force by the Soviet Union, demands to stop military actions and to solve the situation in democratic ways without delay. The Seimas archive stores a warning of the NATO and the European Community regarding the use of force in the Baltic States, where it is written that the Ambassador of the Soviet Union to the European Community was called to an extraordinary meeting regarding the use of aggression in the Baltic States. It also stores correspondence with institutions of foreign countries, their foreign ministries, governments and representatives of the diplomatic corps regarding the aggression of the Soviet Union against Lithuania in January, 1991. Memos of visits of delegations from Denmark, Sweden, Island, the USA, Poland, Russia, visit programs, meeting descriptions are stored.

After 13th January, 1991, the Supreme Council adopted a statement On Illegal Actions of USSR Armed Forces, in which it expressed a strict protest against brutal actions of USSR armed forces and demanded to stop the aggression, to withdraw the troops from the seized premises and to compensate the material damages without delay, as well as the perpetrators determined and brought to justice. The State Commission for investigating the crimes committed by USSR army on 11th–13th of January was formed. Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius was elected the chairperson of the Commission, Vice-Chairperson of the Supreme Council Kazimieras Motieka – his deputy. Photographs stored in the archive of Algirdas Sabaliauskas have captured a meeting of the Commission that took place in the Academy of Science, participants of the meeting, members of the Commission delivering speeches, citizens of Lithuania gathered in the meeting. Taking into account the initiative of the Lithuanian society, on 21st January, 1991, the Praesidium of the Supreme Council approved the Regulations of the Independence Defense Fund of the Republic of Lithuania, according to which the fund's funds consisted of independent installments of residents of the Republic of Lithuania and other states, enterprises, institutions, public organizations and movements. It was anticipated to use the funds of the Fund for supporting the families of independence defender victims and aggression victims. The society continued protecting the Parliament House, provided support to victims of aggression of Soviet soldiers, and donated money into the Fund of Independence. On 6th March, 1991, employees of the Radio and Television of Lithuanian started starving at the occupied buildings of Radio and Television in Vilnius; they deemed to return the property to the real property owners and to abandon the buildings without delay. Photographs of Vytautas Daraškevičius, Aleksandras Juozapaitis and Algirdas Sabaliauskas stored in archives depict hunger campaign participants, the wagon in which the starving journalists lived. Thee Seimas archive stores information reports, allocutions, received from the Ministries of Energetics, Health, Industry, Transport, Communications, Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania regarding the situation in Lithuania in January, the aggression of the Soviet Union, e.g., a statement of the Ministry of Health of the performance of forensic investigations of the victims who had lost their lives, regarding the inspection of the Television tower and its approaches on 16th January, 1991, a report of medicine and bandages received as charity on 14th–17th of January, 1991. It stores reports of young men from Lithuania of military age who were summoned to military service in cities and districts and started the service in 1990 and 1991. A report of the citizens of Lithuania who lost their lives on 13th January, 1991, a report of support by democratic forces of the Soviet Union with respect to the aggression of soldiers of the Soviet Union of 13th January, 1991, a report of bank accounts abroad into which donations to the Defense Fund can be transferred, reports of the Ministry of Health of the number of victims and injured persons on 13th January, 1991, of the nature of their injuries and their state.

Actions of the Soviet Union against Lithuania were positively evaluated by post-Soviet forces acting in Lithuania which disseminated disinformation. On 17th January, 1991, a conference of representatives of the USSR and LCP (CPSU) took place in Vilnius House of Officers the participants of which presented their versions of the bloody events of January. Juozas Jermalavičius refused to indicate the names of members of the “National Rescue Committee” or to name at least the head of the “committee” to journalists. He announced that the “committee” decided to release the Departments of National Defense and Security and to address the Prosecutor's Office of the Lithuanian SSR so that it would initiate criminal proceedings to the heads of these departments. General Mayor J. Nauman, a representative of the USSR Defense Ministry participated in the conference and announced that the reports of the killed civil residents were “pure lies and a provocation”, and that the soldiers did not have any combat cartridges. On 18th January, 1991, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania distributed an announcement on lies about Lithuania spread through the mass media of the USSR in which it noted that information not meeting the truth of actions of USSR army in Lithuania was being spread through the radio and television of the USSR. The Seimas archive stores summaries of day and evening news broadcasted by televisions of the Soviet Union from 1st February to 1st March, 1991 which recorded reports of the events that took place in Lithuania in January, of the international situation, negotiations between the USSR and the Republic of Lithuania, of internal policy issues.

On 9th February, 1991, a general population survey – plebiscite regarding the statement of the newly prepared Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania “The state of Lithuania is an independent democratic state” was carried out. 2 652 738 citizens of the Republic of Lithuania participated in the survey. 90.47 percent of the citizens who participated in the survey pronounced for the statement of “Lithuania being an independent democratic republic”. On the basis of the results of the general survey, on 11th February, 1991, the Supreme Council of Lithuania adopted the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania which established the constitutional norm and the basic principle of the state that the state of Lithuania is an independent democratic state. Together with the Constitutional Law, the Supreme council adopted the declaration On Equal Participation of the Republic of Lithuania in the Community of the World Countries whereby it addressed all the states, their Parliaments and Government, urging to take into account the results of the plebiscite that took place on 9th February, 1991, and asked for support which can be rendered by them for Lithuania that was striving for freedom and democracy. The Seimas archive stores roll-call voting cards of the Supreme Council deputies on the Constitutional Law on the State of Lithuania that was carried out on 11th February, 1991. 115 deputies voted “for”, 1 deputy abstained. The Seimas archive also stores support telegrams of citizens, enterprises, municipality deputies of Lithuania, regarding the decision to organize the survey, proposals on the date of the survey, wording of the proposed statement of the survey, worries are expressed regarding the possibilities of voting for the people on duty at the Parliament. It stores a transcript of a meeting of the Chairperson of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania with Fiodor Kuzmin, Baltic Military District Officer, which records the questions of the situation in Lithuania, of participation of Soviet soldiers in the aggression against Lithuania in January, of the forced conscription of Lithuanian young people into the army of the USSR asked during the meeting.

On 23rd March, 1991, the former President of the USA Richard Nixon visited Lithuania. He met with the leaders of the Parliament and Government of Lithuania, explored the city and visited the places occupied by the Soviet army. On the same day, a protest picket of medics of Lithuania against the bloodshed, violence in respect of unarmed people took place. The Seimas archive stores the documents of the visit of the USA President Richard Nixon: the list of delegation members, the program of the visit, the list of reception and dinner guests, the report of the visit which provides information of the members of the delegation, agenda, a summary and notes of meetings with Vytautas Landsbergis, Gediminas Vagnorius, the national minorities, the opposition of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania.

 

Attacks on Lithuanian border outposts and customs offices in April–August 1991

In April–July 1991, Soviet soldiers would often attack Lithuanian border outposts and customs offices, injuring officers and setting outposts on fire. On 19 May 1991 at about 2.30 am Gintaras Žagunis, Relief Captain at Šalčininkai frontier station Krakūnai border outpost, was shot in the line of duty. On the same night, three outposts were burned on the Lithuanian border with Belarus. On the night of 22 May 1991, Riga’s OMON (Russian Special Purpose Mobile Unit) attacked a border outpost in Akmenė district, injuring its officers, and burned Germaniškis border outposts in Biržai district; a chief of an outpost was injured during the attack. In the morning, a border outpost in Zarasai district, Smėlynė was attacked and burned. Algirdas Sabaliauskas’s photos contain an inspection of devastated outposts and customs offices, Lithuanian customs officers, and border outposts’ cars with broken windows and furniture.  

On 31 July 1991, a group of OMON members attacked Medininkai border outpost and killed police officers, Mindaugas Balavakas, Algimantas Juozakas, Algirdas Kazlauskas, and Juozas Janonis, and customs officers, Antanas Musteikis and Stanislovas Orlavičius. Customs officers, Tomas Šernas and Ričardas Rubavičius, were heavily wounded. The latter died in hospital. The Seimas Archive contains letters and telegrams of Lithuanian residents, companies, and organizations, in which condolences are offered to the families of officers killed in Medininkai and on the border, proposals regarding a honorary guard near Tomas Šernas, the introduction of death penalty, and the formation of an investigation group; for example, writer Eugenijus Matusevičius's proposal to declare national mourning. Vytautas Daraškevičius’s photos contain images of the funeral repast, funeral procession, and funeral of Medininkai victims which took place on 3 August 1991. The Seimas Archive contains manuscripts of documents on the Soviet Union telegram agency's disinformation against Lithuania prepared by Vytautas Landsbergis, Chair of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, on 7 July 1991.

After the killings of 31 July 1991, an extraordinary session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuanian took place. The provisional Lithuanian Defence Command was in session and discussed the means of stopping the USSR's armed aggression towards Lithuania. The Supreme Council addressed other countries, members of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the parliaments of Iceland and Denmark, the Lithuanian people, and global democratic countries regarding a withdrawal of the USSR’s repressive units from Lithuania. In order to protect the Lithuanian border, on the Government’s order the Ministry of the Interior was obligated to quickly organize temporary protection for the Republic of Lithuania’s key customs offices using police reserve. After the killings in Medininkai, people started picketing: On 9 August 1991, members of the Reform Movement of Lithuania (Sąjūdis) organized a three-day picket/protest action near an OMON deployment location in Valakupiai called ‘OMON von!’ (‘OMON, beat it!’). On 10 August 1991, people gathered for a peaceful protest near OMON headquarters, and on 12 August 1991 – near KGB headquarters in Vilnius. In Vytautas Daraškevičius and Jonas Česnavičius's photos, participants of the protests can be seen holding posters: ‘OMON von!’ (‘OMON, beat it!’), ‘Teroro formulė KGB’ (‘The formula of terror is KGB’), ‘Omonai, nešdinkis lauk iš Lietuvos’ (‘OMON, get lost from Lithuania’), tents, Soviet soldiers, their barricades, and barbwire.

On the night of 19 August 1991, a putsch began in Moscow. The Soviet Union's soldiers captured Kaunas Radio and Television editorial office, Sitkūnai Radio station, and the National telephone station. About 7 pm, armed OMON forces stormed Vilnius Taxi park and blocked all gates. In Kaunas, all bridges and main roads were blocked by Soviet armoured personnel carriers from 10 pm to 5 am. In Klaipėda, military movement increased; they began regulating traffic in the city centre, and the garrison's commander, Colonel Ivan Chernykh, proclaimed himself State of Emergency Commandant in Klaipėda. The activities of Lithuanian customs offices were suspended. Martial commandant, Colonel G. Belousov, forwarded Lieutenant General V. Otshalov’s message, in which he demanded the disarmament of the Department of National Defence, the National Defence Volunteer Forces, the Riflemen's Union, and other institutions. On 21 August 1991, during a provocation carried out by the Soviet army near the Supreme Council Palace, Lithuanian volunteers confronted Soviet Special Forces who rammed a car into a territory protected by volunteer troops near the first post in A. Goštautas St. During the incident, a volunteer of Alytus Special Troops, Artūras Sakalauskas, was killed, and two volunteers from the same unit were wounded. The Seimas Archive contains telegrams of Lithuanian residents, organizations, and representatives of municipality councils on the putsch in Moscow, which took place on 19 August 1991. These telegrams condemn the unconstitutional actions of soldiers and the organizers of coup d ’état, and express support to the Supreme Council. On 20 August 1991, the Supreme Council adopted the resolution On the Republic of Lithuania municipalities’ activities under special conditions, which provided that should the Supreme Council be unable to carry out its Constitutional Powers because of aggression or other forms of violence, activities of municipal institutions and officers would be suspended pending a separate decision of the Council. The text also indicated that cooperation with local collaborationists or foreign institutions would be treated as a crime against Lithuania and punishable by law. The Supreme Council’s resolution On preparations for a political strike in protest against Soviet military aggression in Lithuania and identification with Russian democratic powers provided that should the Supreme Council and Government of the Republic of Lithuania be unable to carry out its duties, an indefinite strike called ‘a general disobedience action against the occupants’ should commence.

With democratic powers claiming victory during the putsch in Moscow, on 22 August 1991 the Lithuanian Government demanded the return of 21 buildings captured by the Soviet armed forces. The buildings were indicated on a list which was submitted to the USSR governmental officials. On the same day, the Republic of Lithuania reclaimed the Radio and Television Palace and the Television Tower which were captured by the Soviet military in January 1991. The occupants had damaged the buildings severely; the property inside was stolen or destroyed. On 23 August 1991, after 225 days of occupation printers, employees of the printing company Spauda, newspaper staffs, and journalists returned to the Printing House in Vilnius. The Lithuanian police took over the protection of the Prosecutor General's building. Algirdas Sabaliauskas’s archive contains photos with Soviet troops retreating from the Radio and Printing Houses, columns of military trucks, Lithuanian residents greeting the retreating soldiers, Andrius Butkevičius, Minister of National Defence, giving a speech via a megaphone, and Lithuanian police officers keeping public order.

After reclaiming the buildings, the Supreme Council took into consideration the aggression and terror actions and crimes against Lithuania and on 22 August 1991 adopted the resolution On the Soviet Union's military/repressive institutions in Lithuania, which notes that in order to ensure the safety of Lithuanian people, order, and state stability, all foreign military/repressive institutions which act against Lithuania’s independence and its citizens must be terminated. The resolution demands that the Soviet Union immediately withdraw all introduced or established military/repressive institutions from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, i.e., all KGB institutions and divisions, paratrooper and special units, and all USSR’s internal army units, transfer their property and archives to Lithuania, and initiate investigations on crimes against Lithuania and its citizens performed by these institutions. And the resolution on the Communist Party of Lithuania’s (the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) activities in Lithuania, which notes that on 13 January 1991 the Communist Party of Lithuania, serving as a division of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, organized and instigated actions to overthrow the lawful Government of the Republic of Lithuania, forcibly destroy the Republic of Lithuania's independence and sovereign statehood, and disrupt territorial integrity. The resolution also states that the activities of the Communist Party are forbidden in Lithuania, and that the Government of Lithuania will take over its entire documentation and archives related to its activities. The Prosecutor General of the Republic of Lithuania is obligated to address matters regarding the legal liability of persons who were part of the Communist Party of Lithuania’s (the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) activities and organized and carried out criminal actions against Lithuania and its citizens. The Seimas Archive contains letters from Lithuanian governmental institutions, offices, and organizations regarding the Communist Party of Lithuania Central Committee’s actions, notes on buildings taken from the Communist Party, the Communist Party divisions’ protest telegrams on dismantled Soviet monuments, an address of Mykolas Burokevičius, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Lithuania, to the Chair of the Supreme Council in which the Council is accused of irresponsible politics and provocative actions which led to bloodshed. On 23 August 1991, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the resolution On the USSR National Security Committee’s division, which stated that the Republic of Lithuania, taking into consideration the fact that the USSR National Security Committee acted against the Republic of Lithuania, contributed to the carrying out of the USSR National Committee for Emergencies' instructions in Lithuania, and the attempt to overthrow the lawful Government of the Republic of Lithuania, decided to terminate the activities of the USSR National Security Committee’s division in Lithuania as of 23 August 1991.

Taking into consideration the soon-to-begin withdrawal of the USSR's repressive and military units from Lithuania, on 24 August 1991 the Supreme Council adopted the resolution On the former USSR’s military commissioner offices, according to which the Government of the Republic of Lithuania is to take over military commissioner offices’ buildings used by the Soviet troops and their file-cabinets and inventory. Military commissioner offices, which activities were terminated de jure on 14 March 1990 by the Supreme Council's resolution, ceased existing de facto only with the ending of the putsch in Moscow. The Supreme Council also adopted the resolution On the borders of the Republic of Lithuania, in which the protection of the borders of the Republic of Lithuania, the border control regime, and the renewal of the issuance of visas of the Republic of Lithuania were to begin on 26 August. In the context of the resolution, on 26 August 1991 the Republic of Lithuania took over all Soviet customs offices and began issuing Lithuanian visas.

On 7 September 1991 at 10.30 am the Supreme Council received a message from Moscow that the State Council of the Soviet Union had decided to recognize the independence of the Baltic Republics.

 

Negotiations with the Soviet Union on the normalization of relations and army withdrawal in 1990–1991 

After the Restoration of Independence, the Supreme Council began striving for negotiations with the USSR regarding the normalization of relations and the withdrawal of the occupation Soviet Union's army from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. On 13 March 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the Address to Mikhail Gorbachev, Chair of the USSR Supreme Council (Soviet), in which the presence of the Soviet armed forces in Lithuania was deemed not having any legal grounds, and the USSR Government was invited to begin negotiations on the status of the Soviet Union's military units, deployment, and complete withdrawal from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania; in the address it was also noted that until an agreement with the USSR's armed forces is reached, the internal, state security, and border military should refrain from manoeuvres, redeployment, and an attempt to increase its ranks in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. In the Supreme Council’s declaration of 19 March 1990 On the status of the Soviet armed forces in Lithuania, the armed forces were indicated as an occupation force which entered Lithuania in 1940. Armed forces of another country had a legally defined status and their presence in the territory of Lithuania was harmful from the economic, ecologic, psychological, and political perspective. In 1989, 1.5 million Lithuanian residents signed for the withdrawal of this army.

Mr Landsbergis and Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė, Prime Minister, submitted official messages to President Gorbachev and Nikolai Ryzhkov, Chair of the USSR’s Council of Ministers regarding the start of negotiations and separate negotiations issues. The Seimas Archive contains Mrs Prunskienė’s telegram of 2 April 1990, in which she asks General Dmitry Yazov, the USSR’s Minister of Defence, to receive representatives of the Republic of Lithuania at the Ministry of Defence and discuss the issue of Russian military units in Lithuania.

On 5 July 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the resolution On the preparations for cross-border negotiations with the USSR, in which it confirmed that during negotiations with the Soviet Union the Republic of Lithuania would be represented by the Supreme Council. In preparation for negotiations, the Supreme Council adopted a resolution on 11 July 1990 and formed the Commission for political, legal, and diplomatic preparations for negotiations with the USSR, which consisted of Deputy Chair of the Supreme Council, Bronislovas Juozas Kuzmickas, the Supreme Council’s deputates, Kęstutis Lapinskas, Kazimieras Motieka, Romualdas Ozolas, Audrius Rudys, Aloyzas Sakalas, Gediminas Šerkšnys, and Gediminas Vagnorius, Minister of Justice, Petras Kūrys, and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Algirdas Saudargas. The commission was to discuss major political, legal, and economic provisions of negotiations between the Republic of Lithuania and Russia, the principles of bilateral relations, the start of negotiations, and the draft protocol (act) of goals and conditions protocol, and submit the prepared documents to the Supreme Council by 25 July 1990.

The Supreme Council‘s resolution of 7 August 1990 approved the goals and main provisions of negotiations with the Soviet Union. The Seimas Archive contains protocols of the commission for political, legal, and diplomatic preparations for negotiations with the USSR's sessions, in which the matter of starting cross-border negations, the preparation of negotiations goals and conditions, and the formation of the delegation are recorded. In the provisions of negotiations, Lithuania is indicated as a sovereign country, using the Acts of Independence of 16 February 1918 and 11 March 1990, the principle of the continuity of legal state power, and the peace agreement with Russia of 20 July 1920 as its key documents. The documents provide that the National delegation of Lithuania cannot sign any bilateral document in which the Republic of Lithuania is seen as part of the USSR or related to it in any other form, except for international relations. The commission for political, legal, and diplomatic preparations for negotiations with the USSR set five goals:

1. To achieve full independence of the Republic of Lithuania and that the USSR recognize it legally;

2. To establish equal and mutually beneficial relations between the Republic of Lithuania and the USSR;

3. To achieve recognition of the Republic of Lithuania’s current borders;

4. To settle the dates and stages for withdrawal of the Soviet armed forces from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania and the USSR's recognition of Lithuania's neutrality;

5. To make sure the USSR has no claims for national property in the territory of Lithuania.

Chair of the Supreme Council, Vytautas Landsbergis, was appointed head of the delegation, and its members – deputates of the Supreme Council: Aleksandras Abišala, Romualdas Ozolas, Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė, Algirdas Saudargas, Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, and Emanuelis Zingeris.

Continuing the preparations for negotiations with the Soviet Union, on 12 September 1990 an expert group consisting of the Supreme Council's deputates, Gediminas Šerkšnys, Audrius Butkevičius, and Jonas Liaučius, was established to determine the status of the Soviet armed forces in Lithuania. The Seimas Archive contains a list of the group of experts’ members, an extract of the group's session minutes, and the group’s proposals regarding the determination of the status of the USSR's armed forces before negotiations. In these proposals, it is expected that till the end of negotiations the Soviet armed forces will stay away from Lithuania’s internal affairs, won't violate its sovereignty in any way, disseminate propaganda, support any organizations that are against Lithuania's statehood and independence, force people into compulsory military service, and persecute those who refuse.

On 2 October 1990, in Moscow, Kremlin the first informal meeting of the Republic of Lithuania and the Soviet Union’s negotiation delegations took place. The Lithuanian delegation was led by Chair of the Supreme Council, Vytautas Landsbergis, the Soviet Union's – by Chair of the USSR Council of Ministers, Nikolai Ryzhkov. During this pre-negotiation, consultative meeting, an agreement to form a taskforce was made. The taskforce would be represented by Mr Romualdas Ozolas and Mr Vitaly Doguzhiev, respectively. It was agreed that the taskforce should prepare specific questions for negotiations and proposals for the next meeting. During the first session, Lithuanian representatives proposed including the forced drafting of Lithuanian youngsters into the Soviet army and the presence of this army in Lithuania into the taskforce's agenda. The meeting covered the matters of future negotiations related to border demarcation and the presence of the USSR army in the territory of Lithuania.[13] The Seimas Archive contains the projects of protocols on the start, goals, and conditions of negotiations, in which it is proposed to include a new formulation into the agreement in preparation regarding Lithuania‘s forced incorporation into the USSR in 1940. Additionally, remedying of the occupation‘s damages could create conditions of confidence between the two countries. To improve the agreement’s projects, proposals were made to include the commitments of both countries and stay away of the other country's internal policy and, recognize rights for an autonomous national defence and security policy.

The second meeting of the delegations took place on 20 October 1990 in Moscow. Arrangements on the start of negotiations were made at the Kremlin – they were to start at the end of November 1990. The Seimas Archive contains Mr Ryzhkov’s interview to the USSR's central TV channel after the consultative meeting with the Lithuanian delegation. In the interview, Mr Ryzhkov said that Lithuania was part of the USSR and criticized Lithuania’s starting position, according to which Lithuania considered itself independent. He stressed that the Law on Leaving the USSR was still in effect. (Documents of 1990–1991 groups of experts of the Republic of Lithuania and the Soviet Union in the fields of humanitarian affairs, science, technology and culture, property. citizen rights and freedoms’ guarantees, social security, national security and border regime, economic and trade relations, transport, communications, energy, financial system and banks, and army and defensive actions are kept.

The group for humanitarian, science, technology, and culture consisted of subgroups: on the return of cultural values, science and technology, sports, and health. The activities of this group are documented in: meeting minutes, lists of the group, lists of analyzed topics, reports on completed work, minutes of joint meetings of both countries' expert groups, and notifications about meetings. A considerable number of these documents are negotiations proposals and draft agreements on the return of cultural values. Also: the subgroup on the return of cultural values, science, and technology’s correspondence with governmental institutions regarding taken cultural values, notes, for example, on the property of Lithuanian embassies and consulates which was transferred to the USSR, cultural values, noble metals, and gemstones which were taken out of Lithuania during the occupation, the 1920–1940 Republic of Lithuania Representation in Moscow’s list of archival documents, lists of collections of the Wroblewski Library which were taken out of Lithuania in 1939, a file on the Vilnius Public Library and the evacuation of its museum to Russia in 1914–1915. The subgroup on healthcare and sports' minutes, lists of experts, proposals for negotiations, draft agreements on cooperation in the fields of medicine and healthcare between the Republic of Lithuania and the Soviet Union, on the establishment of joint border quarantine stations, and on cooperation in the fields of sports and physical culture between the Soviet Union and Lithuania.

The Seimas Archive also contains the expert group on property’s documents: session minutes, lists of experts, information material and notes on damages during the occupation, for example, the alienation of the state gold reserve and private property and the compensation of monetary deposits in banks; a preliminary list of 1939–1959 casualties is provided and an attempt to value the casualties in money, a list of objects in the Soviet Union which belong to the Republic of Lithuania, information on land parcels, forests, and bodies of water which were captured and used by the Soviet Union’s armed forces, and the ecological damage done by the army. The group of experts' proposals on negotiations regarding the damage done to the sate of Lithuania and its residents, draft agreements, notes on economic relations between Lithuania and the Soviet Union, and proposals regarding their development. The group’s summarized materials, a collection of documents On the damage done by the USSR to the Republic of Lithuania and its residents in 1940–1991. The collection, which is based on information from ministries, departments, specialists, scientists, and the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania’s data on the damage done by the Soviet Union's repressive institutions to the Republic of Lithuania and its people, contains figures of the damage to the economy due to the ineffective economic system in 1953–1990. The Archive also contains the group of expert’s memorandum regarding the damage during the occupation, which presents an analysis of the damage and figures based on residential losses, property losses, ecological damage, damage to the Church, losses during the nationalization of the economy, the division of the house fund, the Lithuanian army’s losses, and the embezzlement of the gold reserve.

The Seimas Archive also contains documents of the group of experts on residents' rights and freedoms guarantees and social security’s documents: session minutes, lists of experts, reports on completed work, lists of questions discussed by the group, draft agreements on citizenship, proposals on the harmonization of the Criminal Law and Civil Law in the areas of residents' rights, freedoms, and property.

Also: the group of experts on national security and border regime‘s maps used when preparing Lithuania's position for negotiations with the Soviet Union regarding border demarcation. The detailed maps have the Republic of Lithuania’s border with the Soviet Union indicated. The group drew it having analyzed numerous data sources. Also: historical maps of Lithuania which were used to determine the border, the draft of a message on the changes in the Lithuanian border since the Grand Duchy of Lithuania till present times. The Archive also contains lists of experts, drafts of cross-border agreements which contain the main definition and principles of demarcation, negotiations minutes, information notes on the Lithuanian border in 1919–1940, and projects of demarcation, laws on demarcation, and delimitation.

The Seimas Archive also contains the expert group on economic and trade relations' lists with their posts and workplaces, notes on Lithuania's position during negotiations, draft agreements between Lithuania and the Soviet Union which contain means for supplying goods and services as well as payment, and provisions of negotiated prices and principles for the transportation of goods and passengers. For example, a note prepared by Gediminas Vagnorius on the problems of negotiations between Lithuania and the USSR, such as property issues regarding state enterprises and objects, for example, military equipment, pipelines (gas and oil), trunk road networks, the Ignalina NPP, free movement of goods, and the assurance of raw material supply.

Also: the group of experts on the financial system and banks' lists, notes on money turnover, emission’s means of payment, the state credit resources, session minutes, proposals to the negotiations delegation and the Supreme Council regarding the disassociation of the Republic of Lithuanian budget from the Soviet Union’s budget of 1 January 1991, appendixes to agreements between the Republic of Lithuania and the Soviet Union regarding bank activities and the USSR's economic blockade of Lithuania in 1990, the money of centralized funds, Agrobank's debts, and pensions for reserve soldiers and employees of the Ministry of the Interior.

The Seimas Archive contains the group of experts on transport, communications, and energy's lists, draft cross-border agreements regarding energy systems and the revision of energy tariffs, session minutes with the issues of negotiations regarding electricity generating stations and the relations and interdependence between energy companies, the railway system and its management, stamps, tariffs, the transfer of the radio-telegraph, and rules for passenger transportation. Notes on the capacity of the Lithuanian railroad and its status before the occupation, the USSR communications system, civil aviation, and the navy. Also: the group of experts on army and defence's documents, including lists of experts, information notes, for example, about Lithuanians who served in the USSR, who died in the Soviet army, and about the Soviet Union's weaponry: weapons, deployment, and influence on the region's security. Also: the group of experts' session minutes and negotiations proposals.

On 19 November 1990, a meeting of the delegations of the Republic of Lithuania and the Soviet Union took place to discuss military matters. During the meeting, Mikhail Moiseyev, Army General Chief of the Soviet General Staff, who led the USSR’s group of experts, proposed preparing the material on the temporary presence status of the USSR army in Lithuania. Lithuanian representatives agreed, but on army withdrawal, not temporary presence.[14]

Vitaly Doguzhiev, Deputy Chair of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, in his telegram to Chair of the Supreme Council of Lithuania, Vytautas Landsbergis, which was sent on 14 December 1990, said that the negotiations between the two delegations scheduled for 14 December 1990 couldn't take place and additional arrangements would be made regarding a new date. The Seimas Archive contains telegrams of the correspondence between the Republic of Lithuania and the Soviet Union during negotiations, messages, and letters to President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mr Doguzhiev, and Mr Landsbergis regarding a meeting of the delegations and a group of experts and documents in preparation for negotiations.

On 28 December 1990, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the resolution On cross-border negotiations between the Republic and Lithuania and the USSR, which suspended the moratorium for future legal actions based on the Act of 11 March 1990, declared previous resolutions on the start of negotiations and the need for a conditions protocol void, and allowed the Lithuanian negotiations delegation begin cross-border negotiations with the USSR without demanding to sign a protocol to signify the start of negotiations. The Seimas Archive contains the Supreme Council Information Centre's information bulletins and messages on the negotiations between the Republic of Lithuania and the Soviet Union in October–December 1990 and draft agreements for the normalization of relations between Lithuania and the USSR.

In January 1991, negotiations with the USSR regarding the normalization of cross-border relations and withdrawal of armed forces from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania ceased. The Seimas Archive contains a statement of the delegation for cross-border negotiations with the USSR, which was commissioned by the Supreme Council. In the statement, the delegation expresses regret regarding the terminated negotiations with the USSR and the ignoring of Lithuania’s appeals and protests against the Soviet Union's armed aggression of 11–13 January 1991 and the delay to remedy the consequences. The statement stresses that Lithuania hopes to renew negotiations shortly.

On 1 February 1991, Mr Gorbachev formed a new delegation for negotiations with the Republic of Lithuania. On 19 February 1991, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania presented to the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union Proposals to evaluate the Soviet Union army's actions, especially those on 13 January 1991, obligate the USSR leaders to immediately return the objects which were captured in January 1991 (TV, radio, and other), withdraw the repressive units of the USSR internal army and the State Security Committee from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, prepare an agreement on the recognition of the Republic of Lithuania's independence and normalization of relations, and authorize the Soviet Union’s delegation to begin negotiations with the Lithuanian delegation regarding the recognition of independence of the Republic of Lithuania and the signing of a proper agreement between the countries. With changes in the Republic of Lithuania’s Cabinet of Ministers, the negotiations delegation was renewed – new members were added: Gediminas Vagnorius, Prime Minister, Audrius Butkevičius, Director General of the Department of National Defence, and Kęstutis Glaveckas and Valdemaras Katkus, deputates of the Supreme Council.

On 4 April 1991, an official meeting of the Soviet Union and the Republic of Lithuania’s negotiations delegations took place in Moscow. The Lithuanian delegation was led by Deputy Chair of the Supreme Council, Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, and the Soviet Union’s – by Mr Doguzhiev. During the meeting, the Protocol on the negotiations process, regulation, and procedures was signed. The principles of negotiations were established: no conditions in advance, the assurance of equality of the negotiating countries, and respect for the country’s sovereignty and the norms of International Law. The protocol also established the goal of the negotiations: the settlement of relations between the Republic of Lithuania and the Soviet Union. The Seimas Archive contains letters of support of residents of the Republic of Lithuania to Mr Landsbergis and Mr Stankevičius on the negotiations – the importance of sovereignty and the reimbursement for occupational damages are stressed. Also: the originals of Andrius Šiuša’s cartoons with the negotiations process between Lithuania and the Soviet Union, representatives of both countries – Mr Landsbergis and Mr Gorbachev,, events, topicalities in international press, and the Soviet Union’s means used during negotiations. The Seimas Archive contains the draft consular convention between the Republic of Lithuania and the Soviet Union of 7 April 1991.

On 20 April 1991, Mr Landsbergis sent a signed Memorandum to Mr Gorbachev, in which he presented his arguments and the need to restore legal relations between Lithuania and the Soviet Union basing them on the provisions of International Law. In the Memorandum, Mr Landsbergis proposed starting constructive cross-border negotiations regarding the normalization of relations.

On 27 August 1991, a few days after the putsch, the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania adopted the resolution On the complete withdrawal of the USSR’s armed forces from the Republic of Lithuania, in which, taking into consideration the position of Lithuanian residents, demands were made that the Soviet Union immediately withdraw its army from the territory of Lithuania and remedy the consequences of the occupation. The resolution's goal was to ensure the support and assistance of various countries, first and foremost – the U.S., France, and Great Britain. The resolution was distributed together with an address to all members of the United Nations demanding that the Soviet Union unconditionally satisfy the Republic of Lithuania's legal demand to withdraw completely its armed forces from the territory of Lithuania.

 

Negotiations with the Russian Federation on the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union's army from the territory of Lithuania in 1992

On 24 December 1991, the Russian Federation replaced the Soviet Union (the Soviet Union ceased to exist and disappeared as a subject of International Law). On the same day, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania submitted a note to the Russian Federation regarding the complete withdrawal of occupational army.

On 17 January 1992, the Russian Federation ratified the cross-border agreement of 29 July 1999, in which it had obligated to remedy the consequences of the occupation. On the same day, a meeting between Mr Landsbergis and Boris Yeltsin, Leader of the Russian Federation, took place in Moscow. During the meeting, a Communication was signed, according to which the former Soviet Union's military units, which fell under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, were officially defined by both countries as being withdrawn from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. What is more, all military units deployed in Lithuania would be withdrawn on a separate bilateral agreement, and those units wouldn't take any actions against Lithuania and its independence till the withdrawal is complete. There was a point in the communication that an agreement regarding the procedure and terms of the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union's army from Lithuania should be prepared within a month after the signing of the communication. In the communication, the former Soviet Union’s army was defined as ‘army under withdrawal’.

On 21 January 1992, the Representation of Lithuania in the Russian Federation received from the Defence Ministry of the Russian Federation. On 16 January 1992, all CIS countries were sent a standard agreement regarding army withdrawal. The text of the agreement sent by the Russian Federation provided that the former Soviet Union’s temporary army, which fell under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation, would not interfere with internal affairs, honour Constitutional order, and ensure security and external border sovereignty. It would, however, have the conditions to carry out its functions. The text also demanded to recognize the Russian Federation's rights to real estate used by its army, allow soldiers to get the citizenship of the country they were stationed in, and guarantee accommodation. Also: Lithuania should build, at its own expense, military and social facilities at the location of new deployment. The agreement had no specific deadline for army withdrawal.

On 27 January 1992, Mr Yeltsin signed an order to include the Northwestern military district and the Baltic navy into the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. Mr Yeltsin also ordered the Russian Federation's delegation to start cross-border negotiations with Lithuania regarding army withdrawal. Colonel General V. Mironov, Chief of the Northwestern military district, was appointed Representative of the Russian Federation for the temporary presence of the army and its withdrawal from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.[15]

Preparing for the first meeting of the delegations of both countries, the Lithuanian delegation compiled a draft agreement on the withdrawal of the former USSR’s army and submitted it to Mr Landsbergis for approval on 27 January 1992. The draft agreement provided that the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union's army from the territory of Lithuania should begin on 1 March 1992 and end no later than on 1 August 1992.

On the eve of the meeting, 30 January 1992, Mr Landsbergis issued a decree to authorize the Lithuanian delegation to meet the delegation of the Russian Federation regarding the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union’s army from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. Deputy Chair of the Supreme Council, Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, was appointed head of the delegation, and its members – deputates of the Supreme Council: Aleksandras Algirdas Abišala, Audrius Butkevičius, Egidijus Jarašiūnas, Mečys Laurinkus, Saulius Pečeliūnas, Gediminas Šerkšnys, and Zigmas Vaišvila. In Arvydas Sabaliauskas’s personal archive, there is a negative of Deputy Chair Stankevičius.

The first meeting of the delegations took place on 31 January 1992 in Vilnius. The Russian delegation was led by Deputy Chair of the Government of the Russian Federation, Sergey Shachrai; members of the delegation: Alexander Konenkov, Vladimir Matshits, Fyodor Shelov-Kovedyaev, and Evgeni Kozhokin. The Seimas Archive contains lists of both delegations and groups of experts. The meeting's contents and course are reflected in an audio recording and the meeting‘s transcript, which contains the presentation of both delegations' positions and argumentation. The Russian Federation’s goal of these negotiations was the establishment of the Northwestern military group's status in Lithuania, the process and stages of its withdrawal, and issues related to the army’s social guarantees. The Lithuanian delegation's goal, as presented by Mr Stankevičius, was to overrule the annexation of 1940. The Russian Federation’s delegation suggested defining the former Soviet Union's army as a foreign army under withdrawal, not as an occupational one. Lithuania declined this p proposal on the grounds that the Republic of Lithuania couldn't grant any status to the former USSR's army. The Lithuanian delegation agreed defining it as an army under withdrawal, but such a definition had no legal effect. Russia proposed leaving some important military units and facilities for a certain duration in Lithuania and continue using them, for example, a communication’s monitoring station in Linksmakalnis, Kaunas. The Lithuanian delegation rejected this proposal as non-negotiable. During the negotiations, arrangements were made that the destruction of Lithuanian army in 1940 might be a matter of negotiations, and the Russian Federation could provide assistance in restoring the Republic of Lithuania's defensive capabilities as compensation. The Russian Federation's delegation proposed 1994 as the final deadline for army withdrawal. The meeting's transcript contains the agreement of both delegations regarding further negotiations: arrangements were made to continue negotiations during meetings of groups of experts: technical details of withdrawal would have to be harmonized and schedules prepared. It was agreed to begin the preparation of the future meeting's documents and a draft cross-border agreement.

During the meeting, a communication was drafted, in which both countries obligated to negotiate the withdrawal of the former USSR's army from Lithuania. The withdrawal was to begin in February 1992. The communication also contains the possibility of negotiating the conditions for the transfer of part of the Russian Federation’s weaponry to Lithuania. The weaponry was intended for the National Defence Units of the Republic of Lithuania. The communication set the process of negotiations – groups of experts were to being working on 10 February 1992 in Vilnius.

With the negotiations continuing, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania decree No 124 of 6 February 1992 approved the permanent national delegation for negotiations with the Russian Federating on the complete withdrawal of the former USSR's army from the territory of Lithuania, terms, and process. The delegation had to prepare and initial an agreement on army withdrawal. Deputy Chair of the Supreme Council, Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, was appointed head of the delegation, and its members were: Aleksandras Algirdas Abišala, Audrius Butkevičius, Egidijus Jarašiūnas, Vladimiras Jarmolenko, Romualdas Ozolas, Saulius Pečeliūnas, Algirdas Saudargas, Gediminas Šerkšnys, and Zigmas Vaišvila. Members of the delegation were divided into three working groups: the group on the issues of political agreements (head – Mr Šerkšnys), the group of the terms of army withdrawal (head – Mr Pečeliūnas), and the group on damages (head – Mr Ozolas). The Seimas Archive contains a regulation of the Republic of Lithuania delegation for negotiations with the Russian Federation regarding the withdrawal of the former USSR's army. In the regulation, the powers of delegation members, experts, and the delegation leader, possible actions and procedure, and the delegation's jurisdiction when forming Lithuania's position and representing it during negotiations with the Russian Federation are defined.

The newly approved delegation of the Republic of Lithuania held its first session on 7 February 1992. During the session, Mr Stankevičius, Leader of the delegation, talked about further negotiation goals and stressed the need to prevent the changing of the occupational army’s status and avoidance of responsibility. During the session, it was agreed to make sure that the capabilities of the former USSR's army not only be suspended until complete withdrawal – limited movement, manoeuvres, training exercises, and aerial activities, but also decreased by preventing recruitment.

Preparing for a meeting of the delegations' groups of experts, the Lithuanian delegation adopted the provisions and requirements for further negotiations with the Russian Federation during its session on 11 February 1992. The main provision of the Lithuanian delegation was that the requirements regarding the withdrawal of the illegal army came from the Republic of Lithuania's sovereignty, therefore, they were just and couldn't be rejected without being discussed and settled.

The first meetings of the groups of experts took place on 11–14 February 1992 in Vilnius, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Lithuanian group of experts was led by Aleksandras Algirdas Abišala, the Russian Federation's – by Viktor Isakov. During the meeting, the groups of experts exchanged opinions and the main positions and provisions of negotiations. Lithuanian representatives presented Lithuania’s starting position, which was based on the provisions and requirements approved by the delegation. The Seimas Archive contains the meeting’s transcript, a list of the group of experts, lists of subgroups, and minutes, which were drafted after the meeting.

The Russian Federation, meeting the obligations to begin the withdrawal of its army from the territory of Lithuania in February 1992, on 27 February 1992 withdrew the first unit of the former Soviet Union’s army from Lithuania. The Seimas Archive contains the Intention protocol on the withdrawal of unit No 71272 from the territory of Lithuania. The protocol was signed during the first meeting of the delegations on 31 January 1992. The Seimas Archive also contains addresses and letters of the Commander of the Northwestern division, Commanders of the former Soviet Union’s army units in Lithuania, and officers to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania and Mr Stankevičius to express concerns regarding the withdrawal and the army's legal status and to comment the negotiations and technical issues of the withdrawal, for example, retired soldiers of the Ministry of the Interior's internal army expressed concerns and demanded that the social problems of reserve officers be resolved.

With the coming of the second meeting of the groups of experts, on 18 March 1992 Mr Yeltsin appointed a new delegation of the Russian Federation. The delegation's leader remained the same – Mr Isakov. The delegation was instructed to negotiate on all cross-border matters.[16] On 18–19 March 1992, the second meeting of the delegations took place in Moscow at the Representation of the Republic of Lithuania. The delegations were led by Mr Abišala and Mr Isakov. The Seimas Archive contains lists of the meeting’s groups of experts and the draft of a transcript. After a hiatus of more than a month, the third meeting took place on 23–24 April 1992. The leader of the Lithuanian delegation (13 experts) was Mr Abišala, and Mr Isakov led the Russian Federation's delegation. The Seimas Archive contains lists of the third meeting’s experts, subgroups, and minutes, which contain the data the Russian Federation submitted to Lithuania on request on the former Soviet Union's army, weaponry, accurate numbers of soldiers and officers, and deployment locations. The Russian Federation’s delegation submitted a project on the issue of accommodation for officers, which stated that Lithuania would also contribute to the constructions.

The former USSR’s army was being replenished with youngsters from the Russian Federation called to complete mandatory military service. On 28 April 1992, Mr Landsbergis, reacting to the illegal actions, addressed Mr Yeltsin demanding to stop bringing new troops into Lithuania to replenish the army. The Seimas Archive contains minutes of the Republic of Lithuania Provisionary Defence Command's sessions on the replenishment of the former USSR's army with recruits, the movement of the USSR’s military transport and weaponry in Lithuania, additional troops, and possible provocations by the military units and turmoil.

On 26–27 May 1992, the second meeting of the delegations took place. The delegations were led by: Mr Abišala (Lithuanian delegation) and Mr Isakov (Russian delegation). The Seimas Archive contains lists of the meeting's members and experts, draft negotiations procedure, the session's minutes with a list of documents submitted during the negotiations, and audio recordings of sessions. Also: the Republic of Lithuania delegation's statement regarding the ongoing negotiations, signed by Mr Stankevičius and Mr Abišala.

During the negotiations, on 8 June 1992 the Supreme Council adopted the Constitutional Act On the Republic of Lithuania's non-joining regarding post-Soviet Eastern unions. Article 3 of the act provided that: the territory of the Republic of Lithuania must be free of any Russian or CIS military bases and units. The Seimas Archive contains cards of the voting on the aforementioned Constitutional Cct of 8 June 1992.

On 27 April 1992, the Supreme Council adopted the resolution On a referendum regarding the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of the former USSR's army from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania and compensation for the damages. The referendum’s secret voting bulletin contained the phrase: ‘I demand that the withdrawal of the former USSR’s army begin immediately and is complete in 1992, and that the damage done to the Republic of Lithuania be compensated’. The Seimas Archive contains the vote’s roll-call cards. 110 deputates voted ‘for’; 1 deputate ‘against’, and 2 abstained.

During a referendum on 14 June 1992, 90% of the participants voted 'yes' and agreed that the former USSR's army be withdrawn immediately. The Seimas Archive contains telegrams, requests, letters, resolutions, addresses and statements of individuals, families, kinsfolk, foreign Lithuanians (in Australia and the U.S.), various NGOs, unions and associations, household communities, industrial trade unions, consuls, city and town' councils, and departments of political organizations, which support the referendum on the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of the USSR’s army from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. Caritas Lithuania, in a letter to Mr Landsbergis, wrote: “We think that the issues of having a president and the withdrawal of the USSR’s army must be in the referendum so that anyone can express his/her opinion.” People’s letters, telegrams, and statements support Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius’s course of internal and foreign policies and are strongly for having both referendums dedicated to the restoration of the President‘s Office and the withdrawal of the occupational army on the same day. In an address to the Supreme Council's deputates, Jurgis Jonavičius, a representative of the Lithuanian National Olympic Committee in Australia, wrote: “We are especially worried about the presence of a foreign army in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. We think that its withdrawal from Lithuania is one of the most urgent and important goals of the Supreme Council."

The Seimas Archive has documents with demands of Lithuanian people to organize both referendums on the same day not because of costs, but so that this question doesn't get postponed, because the delay could destabilize the situation in Lithuania. For example, the Union of Lithuanians in Adelaide in their letter write: “We think that the referendums on the Post of the President of Lithuania and Quick withdrawal of the Soviet army from Lithuania need to be organized on the same date, i.e., 23 May, not separately. Political, economic, and international circumstances dictate this.” The society‘s support of the negotiations regarding the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union's army from the territory of Lithuania was expressed in the form of banners. Angonita Rupšytė’s personal archive contains a coloured banner which supports the withdrawal of the occupational army. The banner has the following sentence in English: 'Red army go home’.

On 13 June 1992, on the eve of the referendum, the leaders of three Baltic States signed a declaration in Rio de Janeiro On the Russian army in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, which stated that army withdrawal is the main issue in relations with Russia. The text stressed Russia’s reluctance to negotiate army withdrawal, provocations of soldiers, and orders which pose a threat to citizens. The declaration’s goal was to attract the attention of Western European countries and get their support to negotiate army withdrawal.

A new draft agreement was compiled and submitted to Head of the Russian Federation's negotiations delegation, Mr Isakov, on 11 June 1992. The Seimas Archive contains a Pro Memoria of R. Jurevičius, an advisor at the Republic of Lithuania Representation in Russia, about a meeting with Mr Isakov on 15 June. The document contains Mr Isakov’s criticising remark regarding the draft agreement and surprise at Lithuania’s negotiation position to divide the negotiation matters into chunks and stress army withdrawal.

On 30 June 1992, Egidijus Bičkauskas, Provisional chargé d'affaires of the Republic of Lithuania in Moscow, met Mr Isakov and gave him a letter with the Lithuanian delegation’s schedule for army withdrawal. The Seimas Archive contains this thorough schedule for the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union's army. The schedule provides specific dates for the withdrawal of each unit and the final deadline – 31 December 1992.

On 20 July 1992, after a hiatus, a meeting of the groups of experts of the delegations took place. The Seimas Archive contains lists of both groups of experts, the meeting's minutes, and audio recordings with an analysis of the schedule for army withdrawal. Also: attempts to agree on the final date for army withdrawal.

On 27 July 1992, a meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of three Baltic States and Andrey Kozyrev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, on the withdrawal of the former USSR’s army took place in Moscow. Mr Kozyrev said that the occupation army would be withdrawn from the Baltic States in 1994. The process of withdrawal had 11 preconditions which demanded that the former Soviet Union’s army get a legal status for temporary presence. Also: to reject the damage of 1940–1991 occupation and compensation thereof, and compensate the Russian Federation for the military property and facilities left behind.[17]

On 11–12 August 1992, the third meeting of the delegations took place in Vilnius. Mr Stankevičius led the Lithuanian delegation and Mr Isakov – the Russian delegation. The Seimas Archive contains an audio recording of the meeting – the army withdrawal schedule is discussed. Also: the Republic of Lithuania's decree On the formation of a national delegation, lists of both delegations’ members, the meeting's communication, and provisional chargé d'affaires of the Republic of Lithuania in the Russian Federation, Mr Jurevičius's, Pro Memoria telephone conversation recording before the negotiations.

The most intense period of the negotiations regarding the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union's army from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania began on 7 September 1992 in Moscow. The Lithuanian delegation and representatives of the Russian Federation's Ministry of Foreign Affairs harmonized and prepared for signing the texts of seven documents during the meeting. Before signing the documents, on 8 September 1992 Genadijus Burbulis, Presidential Advisor and Secretary of State of the Russian Federation, informed that President Yeltsin had refused to sign the main agreement. Taking into consideration this information, a declaration was prepared which stated that the agreement between the Republic of Lithuania and the Russian Federation wouldn't settle the compensation matters of the damage done to Lithuania after 14 June 1940 – they would have to be settled during further negotiations between the countries. In the evening of 8 September 1992, the final meeting of Mr Landsbergis, Mr Yeltsin, and the leaders of the delegations took place at the Kremlin. During the meeting, Mr Yeltsin informed Mr Landsbergis that Russia had decided to sign only three agreements: a protocol on the technical and organizational matters of the withdrawal of the Russian Federation's armed forces from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, an agreement between the Republic of Lithuania and the Russian Federation on the armed forces and units being withdrawn, the behaviour of soldiers, and the rules for functioning, and a schedule for the withdrawal of the Russian Federation's armed forces from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania.

Audrius Butkevičius, Minister of National Defence, and Pavel Grachev, Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, signed the three aforementioned documents. The Supreme Soviet Foreign Affairs and International Relations Committee recommended Mr Yeltsin to postpone the signing of four remaining agreements until their texts had been reviewed.

 

Final withdrawal of military units

On 25 November 1992, the newly elected Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania had its first session and adopted the declaration On the withdrawal of Russia's army from Lithuania. The agreement noted that the Seimas would do all in its power to ensure that the withdrawal schedule which was signed on 8 September 1992 in Moscow is followed unconditionally.

On the same day, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution Complete withdrawal of foreign armed forces from the territory of the Baltic States. The resolution welcomed the agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Lithuania regarding army withdrawal and the signing of the withdrawal schedule.[18]

The organized withdrawal of the former Soviet Union’s army commenced according to the schedule, in which the process was separated into 4 stages. The first stage took place till 31 December 1992. During it, the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union's army from Vilnius and complete withdrawal of the airforce and service units was stressed. According to the schedule, 61 military units had to be withdrawn by 31 December. On 25 September 1992, Mr Butkevičius formed a commission from representatives of the Ministry of National Defence and the military to address the issues of the inspection and acceptance of the former Soviet Union army's military towns.

On 20 November 1992, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania appointed Mr Butkevičius High Representative for the withdrawal of the Russian army. He was tasked with forming appropriate structural institutions. which would deal with the practical issues of the withdrawal, overtaken objects, an inventory of property, and security.

On 21 September 1992, the Supreme Soviet Committee for Foreign Affairs and International Economic Relations adopted a resolution which stated that the withdrawal of the former USSR's army from the territory of Lithuania according to the agreement and schedule of 8 September 1992 had no legal basis because the main political agreement hadn‘t been signed. Mr Landsbergis, in response to the resolution, issued a statement in which he spoke of attempts to hinder the implementation of the agreements of 8 September 1992 and expressed hopes that the withdrawal process would continue, and global organizations would monitor it.

During a session of the Council of the Baltic States on 5 November 1992 in Vilnius, it was stated that the presence of the occupational army violated International Law, and the unconditional demand to immediately withdraw the former Soviet Union‘s army from the Baltic States constituted an obligation for the Russian Federation, which took over the USSR's functions.

During a NATO Assembly session at the end of November, the Lithuanian delegation, which was led by Mr Stankevičius, together with other delegations of the Baltic States managed to achieve that the Assembly adopt the special resolution The Safety of the Baltics: new context, in which the principle that the withdrawal of the former USSR’s army from the Baltic States couldn’t be related to other issues was approved; also: that the agreements and schedules signed by the Baltic States with the Russian Federation regarding army withdrawal qualified as international agreements, i.e., they were obligatory.[19]

On 29 December 19992, the last military truck left Vilnius’s military district Šiaurės miestelis – the 107th motorized riflemen division was withdrawn from Lithuania. Till 31 December 1992, 49 military units of the former USSR’s army were withdrawn from Lithuania.[20] The Seimas Archive contains deeds of conveyance/acceptance of the former USSR army's military facilities in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania and a list of breaches of Lithuania’s airspace by the former Soviet Union's airforce which contains unsanctioned flights of military aircrafts.

The second stage of withdrawal started on 1 January 1993 and lasted till 31 March. During it, 92 units of the occupation army were to be withdrawn from the territory of Lithuania. On 21 January 1993, the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation adopted the law which provided additional social guarantees and compensations for officers. Reacting to this law, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Committee on Foreign Affairs adopted the statement On Russia’s certain intentions in respect of the Baltic States, in which it was noted that the adopted laws on additional benefits and compensations for officers contradicted the policy of good neighbourhood and equal partnership between Russia and Lithuania.

During a session of NATO and Middle and East European Ministers of Defence, which took place on 29 March 1993, Mr Grachev informed that the army withdrawal was being suspended. On the next day, Nikolai Obertyshev, the Russian Federation's Ambassador to Lithuania, was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He said that only those units whose soldiers had living and social conditions and new posts would be withdrawn. On 31 March 1993, Lithuania expressed a protest regarding the suspension of the withdrawal of the former Soviet Union's army. During the second stage, 24 military units were withdrawn – 13 earlier than provided in the schedule.[21]

The third stage began on 1 April 1993 and lasted till 30 June. At the beginning of this stage, 12,600 soldiers remained in Lithuania. On 18 May 1993, Mr Grachev came to Lithuania on an official visit and met President Algirdas Mykolas Brazauskas; in the evening – Mr Butkevičius. During the meeting, withdrawal-related issues were discussed, the withdrawal schedule was corrected, and the transfer and sale of weapons, military equipment, military facilities, factories, airports, and ammo warehouses to Lithuania was settled.[22]

The final stage started on 1 July 1993 and ended on 31 August 1993. The Russian Federation stressed the need to sign a political agreement regarding the withdrawal. Reacting to these demands, President Brazauskas on 15 July 1993 sent a letter to Mr Yeltsin in which he noted that the withdrawal was going smoothly and according to schedule, therefore, signing an agreement on withdrawal would be pointless and further negotiations should focus on the issue of compensating the damage of the occupation.

On 17 August 1993, an official message was received from the Russian Ministry of Defence regarding the suspension of the withdrawal. On 19 August 1993, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the message On the suspension of the withdrawal of the Russian army, in which it expressed concerns regarding the Russian Federation's attempts at departing from the 8 September 1992 withdrawal schedule, and treated the suspension as a means of political pressure and asked the world to pay attention to the fact that the signed agreements between Russia and Lithuania had to be respected.

On 30 August 1993, during a telephone conversation Mr Yeltsin promised Mr Brazauskas that the withdrawal would be finished according to schedule. The last military echelon, set for the East and loaded with military equipment, arrived at Kena railway station on 31 August 1993 at 11.45 pm and left the territory of the Republic of Lithuania without stopping.[23]

The Seimas Archive contains photos of Algirdas Sabaliauskas with the Soviet Union's soldiers loading military inventory into military trucks, military equipment and weaponry on railway platforms, a Soviet formation, and soldiers of the Lithuanian army taking over military facilities and raising the Lithuanian flag. 



[1]  Dainius Žalimas, „Sąjūdis ir Lietuvos Respublikos Nepriklausomybės atkūrimas.“ Kn. Bronislovas Genzelis, Angonita Rupšytė (sud.), Kelias į Nepriklausomybę. Kaunas: Šviesa, 2010, 188.
[2]  Gediminas Ilgūnas, Lietuvos Respublikos I Vyriausybė, 1990-1991 m.Vilnius: Petro ofsetas, 2008, 63-64.
[3]  Gediminas Ilgūnas, Lietuvos Respublikos I Vyriausybė, 1990-1991 m.Vilnius: Petro ofsetas, 2008, 6, 65-66.
[4] Birutė Valionytė, „Aplinkos apsaugos sistemos sukūrimas.“ Kn. Romualdas Ozolas, Birutė Valionytė (sud.), Valstybės atkūrimas. Lietuvos Parlamentas 1990–1992. Vilnius: Artlora, 2013, 316.
[5] Juozas Žilys, „Kelias į Lietuvos Respublikos Konstituciją: pagrindiniai teisiniai politiniai ženklai.“ Kn. Romualdas Ozolas, Birutė Valionytė (sud.), Valstybės atkūrimas. Lietuvos Parlamentas 1990–1992. Vilnius: Artlora, 2013, 142.
[6] Lietuvos konstitucinė teisė: raida, institucijos, teisių apsauga, savivalda. Vilnius: Mykolo Romerio universiteto Leidybos centras, 2007, 165.
[7] Bronius Genzelis, „Tarybų Sąjungos specialiosios tarnybos ir liustracija.“ Kn. Romualdas Ozolas, Birutė Valionytė (sud.), Valstybės atkūrimas. Lietuvos Parlamentas 1990–1992. Vilnius: Artlora, 2013, 102.
[8] Angonita Rupšytė, „Politinių įvykių chronologija 1988-1991.“ Kn. Bronislovas Genzelis, Angonita Rupšytė (sud.), Kelias į Nepriklausomybę. Kaunas: Šviesa, 2010, 274.
[9] Jedinstvo (liet. Vienybė) – Lietuvoje veikusi prosovietinė organizacija. 1988 m. lapkričio 4 d. įkurta Vilniaus radijo matavimo prietaisų mokslinių tyrimų institute. 1989–1991 m. kartu su LKP (SSKP) organizavo demonstracijas ir streikus, priešinosi Lietuvos nepriklausomybės atkūrimui, reikalavo įvesti tiesioginį SSRS prezidento valdymą, paleisti Aukščiausiąją Tarybą – Atkuriamąjį Seimą.  
[10] Angonita Rupšytė, „Politinių įvykių chronologija 1988-1991.“ Kn. Bronislovas Genzelis, Angonita Rupšytė (sud.), Kelias į Nepriklausomybę. Kaunas: Šviesa, 2010, 277.
[11] Angonita Rupšytė, „Politinių įvykių chronologija 1988-1991.“ Kn. Bronislovas Genzelis, Angonita Rupšytė (sud.), Kelias į Nepriklausomybę. Kaunas: Šviesa, 2010, 281.
[12] Angonita Rupšytė, 1991-ųjų sausis–rugsėjis: nuo SSRS agresijos iki tarptautinio pripažinimo. Vilnius: Valstybės žinios, 2008,
[13] Gintautas Surgailis, Rusijos kariuomenės išvedimas. Vilnius: Generolo Jono Žemaičio Lietuvos karo akademija, 2005, 28.
[14] Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, Sudėtingas Lietuvos derybų su Maskva kelias 1990 – 1992 metais. Vilnius:Lietuvos Respublikos Seimo kanceliarija, 2013, 41.
[15] Gintautas Surgailis, Rusijos kariuomenės išvedimas. Vilnius: Generolo Jono Žemaičio Lietuvos karo akademija, 2005, 51.
[16] Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, Sudėtingas Lietuvos derybų su Maskva kelias 1990 – 1992 metasi. Vilnius: Lietuvos Respublikos Seimo kanceliarija, 2013, 63.
[17] Gintautas Surgailis, Rusijos kariuomenės išvedimas. Vilnius: Generolo Jono Žemaičio Lietuvos karo akademija, 2005, 72.
[18] Česlovas Vytautas Stankevičius, Sudėtingas Lietuvos derybų su Maskva kelias 1990 – 1992 metasi. Vilnius: Lietuvos Respublikos Seimo kanceliarija, 2013, 74.
[19] Gintautas Surgailis, Rusijos kariuomenės išvedimas. Vilnius: Generolo Jono Žemaičio Lietuvos karo akademija, 2005, 146.
[20] Gintautas Surgailis, Rusijos kariuomenės išvedimas. Vilnius: Generolo Jono Žemaičio Lietuvos karo akademija, 2005, 155.
[21] Gintautas Surgailis, Rusijos kariuomenės išvedimas. Vilnius: Generolo Jono Žemaičio Lietuvos karo akademija, 2005, 174.
[22] Gintautas Surgailis, Rusijos kariuomenės išvedimas. Vilnius: Generolo Jono Žemaičio Lietuvos karo akademija, 2005, 177-181.
[23] Gintautas Surgailis, Rusijos kariuomenės išvedimas. Vilnius: Generolo Jono Žemaičio Lietuvos karo akademija, 2005, 199.

 

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