France, Germany Term Baltics a ‘Special Case’
France and Germany said Thursday that the European Community’s recognition of Baltic independence does not foreshadow similar moves for other breakaway Soviet republics.
“The Baltics are a special case,” French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas told a joint news conference with German counterpart Hans-Dietrich Genscher after a two-day meeting in the eastern German city of Weimar.
Dumas and Genscher said the Soviet Union’s annexation of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in 1940, at the start of World War II, was never recognized by Western countries.
Therefore, diplomatic relations had simply been suspended until the Baltic republics reasserted their independence after last week’s failed Soviet coup, the two foreign ministers said.
The German government formally restored diplomatic ties Wednesday, 24 hours after the 12-country EC resumed relations to help rescue the Baltic states from 50 years of political and economic subjugation to Moscow.
Several other Soviet republics have declared independence in the past week but have won no diplomatic recognition. Analysts have noted that these republics were a part of czarist Russia before the founding of the Soviet state in 1917.
Dumas and Genscher met in Weimar with their Polish counterpart, Krzysztof Skubiszewski, to discuss events in the Soviet Union, Polish-German-French cooperation and Poland’s bid to speed up its association agreement with the European Community.
Poland said Monday that it was ready to establish relations with the Baltics and planned to send a delegation there to discuss details.
Dumas also said the EC was seeking a consensus on whether to recognize the secessionist Yugoslav republic of Croatia, where territorial forces are battling Serbian guerrillas and the Serbian-dominated federal army.