HC Deb 20 July 1979 vol 970 cc849-50W
Mr. Churchill

asked the Lord Privy Seal if, bearing in mind that Her Majesty's Government have never recognised the illegal occupation by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics of the Baltic States under the terms of the Nazi-Soviet pact, Her Majesty's Government will turn down the Soviet Government's invitation to participate as an accessory to the fortieth anniversary celebrations of their aggression by accepting an invitation to observe Warsaw Pact manoeuvres shortly to take place in occupied Lithuania.

Mr. Luce

In accordance with the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act the Soviet Government notified the military manoeuvre "NEMAN ", which will be held in Lithuania from 23 to 27 July. Under a further voluntary provision, the Soviet Government invited the United Kingdom and others to send observers. The United Kingdom has accepted, in common with a number of other Western countries and in accordance with our wish to take full advantage of the Final Act. This has no implications for our position on the recognition of the incorporation of the Baltic States into the Soviet Union in 1940; we recognise this incorporation de facto but withhold full recognition. There has been no suggestion that the manoeuvre is in celebration of any event ascociated with the Nazi-Soviet pact of August 1939.