“Regardless of the traumatic past, I am happy today that 26 years ago the people of the three neighbouring countries held hands and demanded freedom and democracy for our states and people. After all these years, I can boldly say that we have walked a long path. Today we have a different Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn – truly European cities and modern capitals of the European Union,” Butkevičius said in a press release circulated by the government’s office.
The three prime ministers are this weekend attending an informal meeting of the PMs of the Baltic Council of Ministers in the Lithuanian seaside resort of Palanga to discuss issues that are relevant to the states.
On August 23, 1989, an estimated 2 million to 2.5 million people held hands to form a 650-kilometer-long human chain stretching from Tallinn to Vilnius to mark 50 years since the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which contained secret protocols dividing Northern and Eastern European states into German and Soviet “spheres of influence”.