Dabar populiaru
Published: 10 december 2012 17:33

EU president recalls Baltic Way while accepting Nobel Peace Prize

Europos Vadovų Tarybos pirmininkas Hermanas van Rompuy
AFP/„Scanpix“ nuotr. / Herman van Rompuy

Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize bestowed on the EU, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy mentioned the Baltic Way - a landmark event near the end of the Cold War when 2 million people in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia joined their hands to form a human chain spanning over 600 kilometers across the three Baltic states. The Baltic Way was organized in 1989 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

On Monday in Oslo, the Belgian politician mentioned the manifestation 23 years ago as one of the moments which, in his words, "healed" Europe.

"I can see many other stirring images before me. Leaders of six States assembled to open a new future, in Rome, citta eterna. Willy Brandt kneeling down in Warsaw. The dockers of Gdansk, at the gates of their shipyard. Mitterrand and Kohl hand in hand. Two million people linking Tallinn to Riga to Vilnius in a human chain, in 1989. These moments healed Europe," Van Rompuy said.

On 23 August 1989, the Baltic Way event was organized by Baltic pro-independence movements: Rahvarinne of Estonia, the Popular Front of Latvia, and Sąjudis of Lithuania. Around 2 million people, a half of them Lithuanians, took part.

Van Rompuy and the leaders of the European Commission and the European Parliament accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Monday. The Nobel Committee awarded the Prize to the EU for making "a continent of war (become) a continent of peace."

The ceremony was also attended by Lithuanian President Dalia Grybausakitė.

BFL/Kęstučio Vanago nuotr./Baltijos kelyje - baikeriai
BFL/Kęstučio Vanago nuotr./Baltijos kelyje - baikeriai

 

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