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Vytautas Landsbergis nominated for Lithuania's Freedom Prize

Vytautas Landsbergis
Irmanto Gelūno / 15min nuotr. / Vytautas Landsbergis
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania's Foreign Ministry nominated the country's first post-independence state leader Vytautas Landsbergis for the Freedom Prize established by the parliament last year.

In the proposal, Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis said that Landsbergis and his operations had become an integral symbol of the struggle for free self-determination, independence, and sovereignty of Lithuania and the entire Eastern European region.

"His ability to combine resolute decisions with peaceful measures, the will to resist provocations and the pressure that later transformed into violence has determined success of the Singing Revolution, the nation's liberation from the Soviet occupation and re-establishment of an independent state," the minister said.

Landsbergis, who turned 80 last week, headed Lithuania's Supreme Soviet that adopted the 11 March Act in 1990, restoring Lithuania's independence from the Soviet Union after a half-century occupation. During his leadership, Lithuania managed to survive the Soviet economic blockade and win international recognition.

The first Freedom Prize went to Russian dissident and human rights defender Sergey Kovalev.

Under the law, the prize is conferred on the Day of Freedom Defenders, 13 January. It is awarded by parliament by 23 December.

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