On July 29, 1991 a unique treaty was signed between Russia and Lithuania. It was the only treaty between Russia that acknowledged the occupation and annexation of one of the parties by the other, and was signed and negotiated at a time when the Soviet Union still existed. Two weeks after the signing of the treaty a coup took place in Moscow attempting to reinstate the pre-perestroika situation.
Though the treaty can be viewed as a solid example of good governance and good neighborly relations, in the course of time the reality on the ground has become quite different. The relationship between the two countries is complex and often tense, and much affected by Russia’s desire to dominate, in particular with regard to its neighbors, it’s revisionist policy and divisivememory policy.
The representatives of Russia who negotiated the treaty are in many ways different than those who now rule Russia. The question arises whether good- neighborly relations on an equal footing and mutual respect are possible, even when a regime change would occur in Russia. What are the preconditions for such a normalization, and what steps can Lithuania take to prepare the grounds for the moment when the opportunity arises.
The core of the conference program will be a one-and-a-half day conference at the Lithuanian President’s Office bringing together politicians and experts who put the July 29 Treaty in a wider socio-political context and in their presentations reflect on the main theme of the meeting. Lithuanian and Russian politicians are joined by two dozen former diplomats, political scientists and other experts from a dozen countries who will discuss the inter-State relations in three sessions: past, present, and future. Each component is introduced by introductory speaker, followed by a number of shorter interventions, a panel discussion and interaction with the selected audience. Only 75 persons will be able to attend the conference in person, possession of a COVID-19 vaccination pass and an in advance completed registration will be obligatory.
The main language of the conference will be English with simultaneous translation into Lithuanian and Russian. The conference will be live-streamed in three languages and recorded for later viewing.
The Andrei Sakharov Research Center contributes to the development of a pluralist and democratic society in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
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Andrei Sakharov Research Center
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44249 Kaunas, Lithuania
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