Russian ambassador: Lithuania owes Russia 72 billion US dollars

Russian Ambassador Alexander Udaltsov
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

During an interview to Valery Tretyakov the founder of the newspaper “Litovskij Kurjer” and the controversially viewed newspaper, during the interview with the Russian Ambassador to Lithuania A. Udaltsov stated that over the last several years the relations between Moscow and Vilnius did not improve, but rather deteriorated.

“Unfortunately, no positive steps regarding bilateral relations have not been seen over the last several years. The hope that with the election of the new Parliament and with the appointment of the new government the relation swill no longer be of a stagnations manner did not come into fruition. It is quite the contrary – regrettably we are seeing an increasing anti-Russian atmosphere in the Lithuanian policy towards Russia” – stated the ambassador.

According to, the ambassador Vilnius has been making a continuous effort regarding the overall destruction of the relations between the two countries. A. Udaltsov also noted that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has dubbed the course taken by the Lithuanian government as hostile.

The image of a “hostile Lithuania” as an example is given several times during Russian oppositionist’s conferences in Lithuania after which the building of a fence along the border with Kaliningrad region was started, as well as several reports by Lithuanian intelligence agencies about Russian spy activities in the state. Moreover, A. Udaltsov explained that “in the anti-Russian competition in the EU, Lithuania is a successful contender for a tittle position.”

Furthermore, according to A. Udaltsov Lithuania should not feel threatened regarding the military exercise “Zapad” taking place near the border between states, nor should it feel that the pipeline “Nord Stream” or the nuclear power plant being built in Belarus pose a threat to the states security.

Nonetheless, when asked about his opinion on his perspective regarding the repaying of the damages incurred Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia during the occupation A. Udaltsov noted that this is the internal issue of the domestic policy of the Baltic States. However, the ambassador also stated that no official representatives of Russia “will not even consider this inappropriate and non-prospective idea.”

The bizarre behaviour in the Cemetery came as a surprise

The statements made by A. Udaltsov should dispel any doubts about the ambassador himself, regarding the statements made during the 8th of May. Moreover, initially in the Antkalnis cemetery the ambassador placed a floral wreath on the Soviet soldier memorial, and then made his way to another memorial a few hundred meters away – the monument to commemorate those that died for the freedom of Lithuania.

“We were surprised by this, we were not expecting this, this was a first for us in this regard” – stated Arnoldas Pikžirnis the counsellor of the Prime Minister of Lithuania after the ceremony.

“I was pleasantry surprised that they took part and also placed wreaths of flowers and/or just flowers in all places. This is a certain kind of symbolism, when tribute is played to the victims. They made this on their own initiative. We spread the information to foreign ambassadors that Lithuania was organizing a commemoration ceremony in honour of the victims of the Second World War, we allowed them free choice to decide and they chose to attend” – stated Salvina Taukinaitienė the head of the Protocol Division of the Ministry of Defence.

The monument in dedication of all Lithuanian military personnel who died in the guerrilla warfare, exile, prison and/or whose burial place is unknown was created by Kazys Venclovo in 2015 was unveiled during the commemoration. The inscription of the monument reads: “for those who died for their homeland. Their graves are known to God.” For the monument dedicated for the soldiers graves, also contains certain sites and tombs were designed, where soldier can be buried, that were killed while preforming their service functions, as well as generals, military commanders and Ministers of Defence.

Moreover, A. Udalovas laid down not only a wreath but also bowed respectfully before the monument which is dedicated in order to first and foremost commemorate the Lithuanian partisans that fought against the Soviet Union. While the official position of Moscow is that all anti-Soviet resistance activities today are regarded as the activities of illegally armed groups against the Soviet leadership, thus the Lithuanian partisans are referred to as nationalistic groups and/or bluntly as bandits.

Moreover, the bitterness on the matter could be in part regarding the fact that red carnation bouquet placed on the memorial was tied with the strips of St. George. Thus, the strips themselves were of orange and black stripes which began to be utilized massively in Russia from 2005. Furthermore, the symbolic of the St. George motifs interspersed with Lithuanian attributes while not prohibited in Lithuania, but is undesirable to be shown in many places and is further associated with the Russian aggression in Ukraine.

According to, a DELFI query regarding what this type of behaviour mister Udaltsov means, as well as does Russia recognize the Lithuanian freedom fighter resistance against the Soviet Union during the period 1944-1953, as reacting to the bilateral war fact the embassy sent its own explanations.

“The monument states “those who died for their homeland. Their graves are known to God” we explain this as such, that Lithuanian army did not fight against the Soviets, it was rather on the contrary – during the Great Patriotic War against the German invaders in the fronts there fought more than 150 thousand Lithuanians, 108 thousand of which only added to the ranks of the Red army in 1944. Thus, by placing the flowers on the ground of the monument the embassy staff remembered these people.” – stated the Russian embassy public statement on the matter. Moreover, it was forgotten to mention that Lithuanians in the Red army were forcibly mobilized in 1944, and many of them ran into the words and allied themselves with the anti-Soviet resistance movement units in Lithuania.

However, according to the interview of A. Udaltsov by V. Tretjakov neither of these post-war episodes were mentioned, neither was the fact about the 1940 occupation of Lithuania, which was not recognized as lawful by the international community. Instead of this, the Russian ambassador decided to note the Soviet Union’s contribution to Lithuania, which was allegedly only positive.

Lithuania should be grateful but is also indebted?

According to, the statements made by A. Udaltsov when “joining” the Soviet Union Lithuania was only an agrarian country which in regards to industrial production lagged behind other Soviet Republics about three times and took one of the last places in regard to the quality of life in the whole of Europe.

“While being a member of the Soviet Union, Lithuania got the opportunity to expand itself in regards to agriculture, which allowed the state to increase its national income. During the timeframe of 1940 to 1990 for the economic development of Lithuania 65 billion dollars were contributed. Thus, a variety of industries were created such as the chemical and oil industries, as well as several large factories” – stated the ambassador noting several soviet myths regarding the benefits of the period. According to, to the ambassador the Lithuanian claims in regards to reparations of the occupation “is fundamentally false and even absurd.”

“On the contrary – Russia, was the largest member of the Soviet Union, which made the most significant contributions to the budget of Lithuania, thus it is in the right to ask for compensations from Lithuania” – noted A. Udaltsov stating that calculating the sum of Russian contributions made to Lithuania, Russia may be owed by the state in the amount of 75 billion dollars.

In fact, Lithuania as early as the spring of 200 adopted a law which obliged to ask Russia to compensate the period of 1940 to 1990, more precisely the period of the Soviet occupation during which the state incurred damages in the estimated amount of 23 billion euros.

Therefore, that requirement in regards for compensation for the damages incurred by the state in regards to the occupation, even during the 1992 referendum resulted in 90 pct. of citizens agreeing to the proposal. However, Russia has never negotiated on the matter or the debt, nor did it ever recognize the occupation of Lithuania.

Relying on invented delusions

Interestingly, the numbers given by the Russian ambassador correspond to the amount which was recently also named in an article published by a Russian portal “”. The article titled “The bill for occupation: Russia could instantly destroy the economy of Lithuania” was latter on distributed among the news portals.

Moreover, the original article shared among the social networks was even distributed amongst the internet with an even sharper tittle “Moscow’s response to Vilnius actions: threating a collapse that Lithuania will not be able to withstand.”

The article itself was allegedly written as a response to the law adopted by the Lithuanian Parliament in spring of 2000 that required the Lithuanian government to the negotiate with Moscow on the question of compensation incurred by the state during the period of Soviet occupation from 1940-1990, which a commission made in the early 1995 estimated at 80 billion litas (23 billion euros).

The article published by “” stated the narrative that Russia does not agree with the course of actions taken by Lithuania, additionally there are specific complains about Vilnius made. “The demagoguery of the Baltic State politicians about the “damages of the Soviet occupation” has become a common occurrence. Moreover, according to the Russian State Dumas prepared documents it is becoming obvious that who and how much they are in debt” – writes “”

Moreover, the article states that prior to the accession the Soviet Union, Lithuania was a small agrarian state – 74 pct. of the population lived in the province, and only about 7 pct. was employed in industrial enterprises that allegedly produced very simple equipment and produced a limited range of production designated for consumption.

Ironically, in the article it is also stated that Lithuania until its accession to the European Union, in 1941 was occupied by the Nazis which was listed as “the first example of European integration”, as well the damages done to the Lithuania’s by Adolf Hitler reaches about 38 billion dollars.

“Then all the forces of the Soviet Union were deployed in efforts for this country to be liberated, thus overcoming the possibility of a united fascist Europe. Thus, from 1940 to 1990 for the development of Lithuania about 65 billion dollars’ worth of investments were deployed. It should also be noted that during its existence of the state as a Soviet Republic had access to its resources which the state took advantage in the amount of 72 billion dollars which helped the country to not only repair and rapidly develop the state’s economy” – stated the article.

In addition, to this the article also estimates that Lithuania in the Soviet Union’s make up was supposedly given an additional 35 billion dollars’ worth of investments, as well as many of today’s industrial facilities in Lithuania was built by the Soviet Union.

“Currently, those facilities built by the Soviet Union is valued at 6.3 billion dollars. Thus, finally the fact that Lithuania’s claims for compensation in regards to the compensations to be paid because of the “Soviet occupation” can be a costly statement to this state. Moreover, it is becoming clear that the contribution of the Soviet Republics to the development of the Lithuanian state was more than the economic possibilities of the state itself and Russia, as the legal successor of the USSR is logically trying to claim the money and other deposits with an interest rate that was invested in Lithuania during the time.

If such a scenario is real, Vilnius with the whole budget of the state reaching 41 billion euros will instantly bankrupt the state. While Russia will get the opportunity to destroy its economy.” – the article noted.

Furthermore, the article also sets out a set of calculations which back in March appeared in another Kremlin funded project – the website The article also alleged that based on the information given in the same document. Thus, according to this mystical document which allegedly was prepared by the State Duma’s inquiry by the Russian Economic Development Department, which cannot be found.

The only document that is tied to the State Duma and the Lithuanian debt to Russia is dated back to 2002 which does not directly identify specific amounts and Lithuania’s claims regarding compensations for damages incurred by the occupation is depicted in a way that makes it seem that – Lithuania should be grateful to Moscow, and if the state continues to insist on these claims of compensations, it “must” return Klaipėda and Vilnius to the legal successor of the USSR – Russia.

Moreover, that is also made clear in the article is the fact that the majority of the article is based on an article supposedly published by V. Glaktiniovo a former deputy that has supposedly worked for the Department of Europe which was released in the communist publication “Sovietskaja Resyja”. According to, the article written more than seven years ago which was later published by the “” and in the end of April by “”.

At the present, the afore mentioned person is not employed in the department. Furthermore, in the original article tied to V. Galaktionov the occupation of Lithuania is not only denied but financial claims to Vilnius is given, which is similar to the claims heard from Moscow. Thus, this raises the issue regarding the events of 1991 January 13th even more.

According to, Nerijus Maliukevičius a lecturer at the International Relations and Political Science institute at Vilnius University stated that this story propagated by the Russian in 2010, is once again being brought into the light of day.

“This is a cheat sheets that they turn to regarding many occasions, especially the State Duma. The traditional patterns of propaganda on which movies were developed on earlier are not being transferred into the virtual space. Currently, these false narratives are continued to be propagated through trolls and their controlled information rescues. Here, the technology might be new but the message of the Kremlin’s propaganda is not” – stated Nerijus Maliukevičius.

Additionally, from an analytical perspective “NewInform” along several other portals similar to it such as “Poltipazl”, “Inforeakto”, “PoliEspert” and etc. belong to the recent “patriotic holding” in the Russian informational space, uniting a Kremlin-friendly information websites which in turn are closely supervised by the Russian censorship service-“Roskomnadzor”.

Moreover, the afore mentioned sites are all hiding in the streets of St. Petersburg, Savukisno street 55 numbered building, were a so-called “troll farm” – a Kremlin hired army of commentators which spreads false stories through the use of profiles in social media sites and message boards are trying to create a pro-Russia opinion in the societal discourse.

Lithuania – is not a dependent of USSR, rather a donor

Meanwhile, according to historian and Member of Parliament Arvydas Anušauskas opinion, Russian trolls in the public space are trying to discard articles defending Lithuania’s financial claims to reparations regarding damages incurred, as well as to diminish the growing unit among the Baltic in regards to the question of reparations.

“This is a sensitive subject for them. After all, Russia has always helped people, and thus they are currently regarding those it “helped” as people that have not paid them back. Thus, these figures are provided. In particular, here it’s important to answer the new facts raised by Baltic researchers. Here, I have in mind of course the newly published data about the resources extracted from the Baltic States done my Latvian researchers” – stated A. Anušauskas.

Furthermore, Gatis Kruminis a rector for a Latvian University specialising in applied science published a study which proved that Lithuania, among other states was not a depended of the USSR, but rather donors themselves. According to, G. Kruminis one third of Lithuania’s national budged during the first decade of the occupation was allocated to military structures which fought against the Lithuanian partisans.

“Additionally, the entirety of the literature of the Soviet period refers to the fact that a huge aid was provided from the central Soviet budget. However, the data that I have found about Lithuania was not that high, only about 5-6 pct. was subsidized to the USSR budget” – stated G. Kruminis last year to BNS.

The rector together with a team of researchers composed by the Latvian Government presented a calculation methodology regarding the estimation of the damages incurred by the Soviet occupation. According to, the calculation of the researchers from 1949 to 1990, Latvia to the USSR provided 18 pct. of the state’s national budget, or 15.9 billion rubles, based on the 1961 exchange rate. The following year was chosen as a starting point of currency stability.

According to, G. Kruminio these calculations are yet to be made in Lithuania, since it would require the collection of a lot more archival materials. Although, the opinion of the experts the difference between the state budgets of the Baltic States and other USSR members, regarding revenue and expenses that were reduced by the percentage paid to the budget of the USSR – show that a percentage of these “grants” were later on returned to the national budgets of the states.

According to, the Latvian and Lithuanian central state archives the collected documents for the time period from 1946 to 1949, show that about 30 pct. of Lithuania’s national budget at the time was allocated for spending in the areas regarding the army and national security. G. Kruminis further notes that this methodological technique could be useful in regards to collecting information about the occupations damage to Lithuania.

“But the compensation from USSR to me is a secondary factor. Most importantly, we need to destroy those myths (…) the disinformation which is being provided” – he stated. Moreover, the Latvian researcher’s opinion is backed also by the Birutė Burauskaitė the director of the Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Centre which notes that according to the calculation done in 2000, the damages of the occupation are estimated to be about 80 billion litas (20 billion dollars at the exchanges rate of at the time).

About Vaidas Saldziunas 37 Articles
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