WASHINGTON -- Vice President Dan Quayle said Saturday the United States remained hopeful that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev will not resort to violence in seeking to force Lithuania to abandon its declaration of independence.
'Chairman Gorbachev said he would not intervene militarily and that this would be resolved peacefully.
And let's hope he sticks to that,' Quayle said on the CNN 'Newsmaker Saturday' program.
At the same time, the vice president said he had no doubt Gorbachev feared that the March 11 move for independence in Lithuania could prompt other Soviet states to similar action.
'I'm sure that's on his mind. He probably sees Lithuania as perhaps a precedent of what could come down the road,' Quayle said.
Gorbachev set a Monday deadline for Lithuania to accept a Moscow resolution branding as 'null and void' the Lithuanian parliament's March 11 declaration of independence.
'Gorbachev has indicated the tanks are not going to roll,' Quayle said. 'Let's hope so. He said it. Let's take him at his word.'
But he acknowledged the United States 'had to wait to see what happens.'
'We want it resolved peacefully but we want the Lithuanian people to make that determination,' he said.