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Lithuania’s Prime Minister on Catalonia: each country “has the right to self-determination”

In an exclusive interview with the CNA about Catalonia, the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevicius, states that each country “has to find its own way” and “has the right to self-determination”. Lithuania is holding the European Union Presidency from July to December. The CNA interviewed the Lithuanian Premier on the occasion of the 400-kilometre human chain ‘Catalan Way towards independence’, which was inspired by the ‘Baltic Way’ of 1989 requesting the independence of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from the USSR. The ‘Baltic Way’ united in an uninterrupted and peaceful human chain Tallin, Riga and Vilnius; two years later the 3 Baltic states became independent. Butkevicius said he was “very happy that the Lithuanian example inspired” the Catalan human chain.

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14 September 2013 12:12 PM

by

ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- In an exclusive interview with the CNA, the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevicius, stated that each country “has to find its own way” and “has the right to self-determination” when he was specifically asked about Catalonia’s human chain. Lithuania is holding the European Union Presidency from July to December. The CNA interviewed the Lithuanian Premier on the occasion of the 400-kilometre human chain ‘Catalan Way towards independence’, which was inspired by the ‘Baltic Way’ of 1989 requesting the independence of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia from the USSR. The ‘Baltic Way’ united in an uninterrupted and peaceful human chain Tallin, Riga and Vilnius; two years later the 3 Baltic states became independent. Butkevicius said he was “very happy that the Lithuanian model inspires people from other places”, as with the Catalan human chain. In another interview, the Prime Minister of Latvia, Valdis Dombrovskis, also showed great respect for the ‘Catalan Way’ and even opened the door to recognising a hypothetical independent Catalonia if the process were to be “legitimate”.


“I welcome all peaceful ways to express the people’s solidarity and the [right to] self-determination”, stated the Prime Minister of Lithuania. However, Butkevicius underlined that any self-determination process has to be developed “according to the legal basis”, including “international law”. He explained that Lithuanians “developed” their own legal framework in order to proclaim their independence from the Soviet Union in 1990.

Catalonia “has to find its own way” and “has the right to self-determination”

In addition, he pointed out that “today the situation within the European Union is completely different”, since the “the EU is a democratic union of states that respects political rights and is based on free will”. He also added that Catalonia’s independence has to be discussed “within” Spain. Nonetheless, when he was explicitly asked about Catalonia’s human chain, he stated that each people “has to find its own way” and “has the right to self-determination”.

The ‘Baltic Way’, an example for humankind

Butkevicius, who is the leader of the Lithuanian Social-Democrat party, also stated that he feels “very happy” that Lithuania’s example can “inspire” other people. He emphasised that the ‘Baltic Way’ “now belongs to the entire humankind”, as it was recognised by UNESCO. “Lithuania recovered its independence in a unique way. It might be considered as a model for humankind to reach independence in a peaceful way”, he concluded.

Finally, Butkevicius emphasised the existing economic ties between Catalonia and Lithuania, with Catalan investments in the Baltic country. The Prime Minister also “invited other entrepreneurs” from Catalonia to set up an economic co-operation with Lithuania.

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  • The Prime Minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevicius, in the interview with the CNA (by L. Pous)

  • The Prime Minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevicius, in the interview with the CNA (by L. Pous)
The Prime Minister of Lithuania on Catalonia: each country "has the right to self-determination"