Kyiv, August 5, 2014. The embassies of the three Baltic states—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—will soon host an event in Kyiv to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Way demonstration in 1989. This was stated by Argita Daudze, Petras Vaitiekūnas, and Ulla Uibo, during the press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center. The three speakers were the Ambassador of Latvia to Ukraine, Ambassador of Lithuania to Ukraine, and the Deputy Ambassador of Estonia to Ukraine, respectively.
The Baltic Way demonstration on August 23, 1989 was a two-million person human chain linking the three Baltic countries together, and sought to remember the Baltic states’ loss of sovereignty in 1940, said the speakers. In light of renewed Russian aggression against Ukraine, the three embassies of the Baltic states to Ukraine will organize an event on European Square in Kyiv to honor the memory of the ‘Baltic Way’ and celebrate Ukraine’s European future.
Latvian Ambassador to Ukraine Argita Daudze reminded attendants of the press conference that the ‘Baltic Way’ was a movement to regain the dignity lost after the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact resulted in the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states. Daudze said that the event on European Square will both recall the Baltic states’ fight for freedom and show solidarity with Ukraine. The ‘Baltic Way’ energized all of the people of the Soviet Union, and showed the world that truth can emerge from decades of occupation. Lithuania’s Ambassador to Ukraine stressed that Lithuania’s participation in the event is meant to support the values of “non-violence, unity and solidarity.” These values are particularly relevant in the face of the Kremlin’s aggression, he said. Deputy Ambassador of Estonia to Ukraine Ulla Uibo added that the unity of Ukrainians in this time is especially important. “25 years ago the unity of the people of the Baltic countries helped us regain our independence,” she said. “Today in Ukraine the unity of the people is important for you to achieve your goal.”
The three diplomats perceive the event as a way for Ukrainians to commemorate the legacy of non-violence and European integration as promoted by the ‘Baltic Way’ 25 years ago. The event on August 23 in European Square will feature the flags of the three Baltic states, as well as a video on the square’s large screen to show the protest’s key moments. Argita Daudze thinks that the event will bring together Ukrainians in support of their country’s European future. “European Square is one of the places in Kyiv where the gathering of many people with the idea of the European future of Ukraine is important,” she stated. The three diplomats stressed that their countries will continue to support Ukraine’s European choice and sovereignty against current threats to its sovereignty.