Lithuania wants Russia to pay $28 billion

March 23, 2006 at 5:02 AM

VILNIUS, Lithuania, March 23 (UPI) -- Lithuania wants Russia to pay more than $28 billion in compensation for the "Soviet occupation," the speaker of Lithuania's parliament has said.

Arturas Paulauskas told national radio Wednesday, "There are legal documents, our people's will that has been expressed at a referendum, and it should be fulfilled."

Paulauskas said he has raised the issue in meetings with Russian officials "and will continue doing so in the future," the Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported.

A special committee of the parliament, after evaluating the damage caused to Lithuania by nearly 50 years of being part of the Soviet Union, determined an appropriate compensation as totaling more than $28 billion, Paulauskas said.

Russia has repeatedly said there are no grounds for these claims.

Not only Lithuania but also the two other Baltic states, Latvia and Estonia, have been trying for several years to receive compensation from Russia, as the legal successor to the Soviet Union, but with no results so far.

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