The Baltic Way protest – which on August 23, 1989 saw over a million people link arms from Tallinn to Vilnius to demand independence from the Soviet Union – demonstrated Baltic unity, Speaker of the Lithuanian Parliament Viktorija Čmilyte-Nielsen said on Monday.
"The pursuit of freedom and democracy that brought people together to form a human chain showed to the world that we, residents of the Baltic states, do not want to remain under the oppression of a totalitarian regime,” she said.
“Civic consciousness and activeness prevented the occupying country from suppressing the pursuit of freedom and allowed us to reach the end point of independence."
As the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism is also marked on Monday, Čmilyte-Nielsen has urged people to pay respects to victims of totalitarian regimes.
"Today, we continue to show that unity is not a myth as we face new threats from the East and we once again support each other. No historic peripeteia will erase and change the symbolism of the Baltic Way," Čmilyte-Nielsen said.