§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will recommend at the forthcoming Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe Foreign Ministers meeting in Berlin that the declaration of independence by the Baltic states be referred to the disputes settlement mechanism agreed to at Valletta; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
No. The dispute settlement mechanism, whose provisions were agreed by experts from CSCE states at Valletta in February, can as currently constituted only address disputes between CSCE participating states. All participants in the Valletta meeting, however, agreed 10 principles describing how parties should behave in settling their disputes: it is open for the Soviet authorities and the Baltic republics to agree to apply these principles. We welcome the fact that discussions are now taking place between the Baltic and Soviet leaderships.