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The Creation of Independent Baltic Republics

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Chapter Summary

The appointment of Mikhail Gorbachev as the new Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (April 1985) marked the beginning of a new era. The history of the Baltic States' incorporation into the Soviet Union formed a recurrent and central theme in the claims for sovereignty and independence. The Baltic Popular Fronts adopted declarations on the rights of the Baltic nations, crimes of Stalinism and the economic independence of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The increased attention to the right of self-determination and historical justice inspired Baltic nationalists to address the issue of national sovereignty and independence. Whereas the advocates of independence referred to principles of international law to restore the pre-war republics, Soviet representatives always took the view that the question of independence was an internal constitutional issue without international dimensions.

Keywords: Baltic independence; Baltic states; Estonia; Latvia; Lithuania; Michail Gorbachev; Soviet Union

10.1163/ej.9789004169456.i-304.12
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004169456.i-304.12
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