Mr. Fedorov believes that that resolution was illegal and was adopted in violation of the articles of the Soviet Constitution.
Deputy Yevgeny Fedorov answered the questions of the Russian edition of Komsomolskaya Pravda (KP) and explained why he proposes that the Duma cancel the recognition of Lithuania’s independence.
KP: Why Lithuania, and not other former Soviet Baltic republics, for example?
Mr. Fedorov: It’s not just because Lithuania didn’t hold a referendum at the time. The procedure of secession from the Soviet Union was stipulated in the USSR at that time. Then both Vilnius and Moscow violated this procedure. Lithuania is a priority territory for us. It is a more important territory than the others. It is a passageway to the Kaliningrad region. And they are consistently pursuing the most aggressive anti-Russian policy. In addition, Lithuania has been keeping people in prison for years for political reasons. And Lithuania, by the way, understands its legal vulnerability in terms of recognition of its independence of 31 years ago. This is where lawyers have to talk to lawyers.
KP: Which law of the USSR was violated in the case of Lithuania?
Mr. Fedorov: In particular, Law No.1409-1 of April 3, 1990 “On the Procedure for Resolving Questions Related to the Secession of Union Republics from the USSR. There, for example, a referendum was provided for – the Lithuanians did not hold it. The transition period was necessary for solving the disputed issues – they did without it. They had a legal right to exit – but they went the other way. Through a decision by Gorbachev’s State Council of the USSR – right here, right now.
KP: And the USSR State Council had no right to such a decision?
Mr. Fedorov: No. And I propose that that decision of the State Council be reversed through the courts.
KP: And why now?
Mr. Fedorov: We are the legal successors of the USSR. We have the right to overturn decisions of the Soviet Union that are essential for us, here and now. This will allow us to negotiate with NATO, and Vladimir Putin has announced that we are going to do this. When we talk about returning to the 1997 position, we can offer our arguments about Lithuania’s withdrawal from NATO on legal grounds.
KP: And the Lithuanians can say that they were unlawfully included into the USSR 82 years ago.
Mr. Fedorov: They can say what they want, but there is international law. What was before WWII is not important anymore. The USA also admits this. What matters is what was worked out in 1945 and immediately afterwards. The territory of Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union as a Union republic. Just as Catalonia was part of Spain, and Kurdistan was mostly part of Turkey. For the last two, does the world community have any questions?
KP: Well, it’s different for everyone. And when is the bill scheduled to start being considered?
Mr. Fedorov: The introduction of my bill is not the end of the procedure, but only the beginning. The series of conflicts that we have had and still have on the territory of the former Soviet Union is dozens, and they are all the result of illegal decisions and the events of 1991. In order to extract the root of the conflict, we must go back to the beginning. If there is a problem, it must be solved legally.
KP: If the Lithuanian project becomes a law, who will be next – Estonia and Latvia?
Mr. Fedorov: If they don’t regulate their relations with the Russian Federation based on this precedent, we can’t rule it out. We are solving our security problem. The Lithuanian question is a top priority.
KP: What is the timeline for passing the bill?
Mr. Fedorov: This may be related to the timing and course of negotiations with NATO. And possibly with processes in neighboring territories. We are proposing legal arguments to determine the position of the Russian Federation. Whether this will be the fall session or next year – it is difficult to say now.