(MFA Press Center) Riga–The Foreign Minister of Latvia, Artis Pabriks, issued a statement welcoming the adoption of H.Con.Res. 128 by the US House of Representatives which calls on the Government of Russia to acknowledge the occupation and annexation of the Baltic States by the USSR in 1940.

Mr. Pabriks stressed that this resolution should be regarded as another tangible manifestation of the United States’ firm stance regarding the non-acknowledgment of the forcible incorporation of the Baltic states into the USSR, and also the systematic work done by the foreign policy makers in Latvia, other Baltic countries and Baltic organizations abroad in explaining the history of Baltic countries throughout the world.

The resolution has a symbolic character, being adopted on the 65th anniversary of a historically significant declaration passed by the US Undersecretary of State, Sumner Welles, which defined US policy on the Baltic issue and ensured the continuity of Baltic States’ diplomatic representation in Washington.

The Embassy of Latvia in Washington was the only Latvian embassy abroad which continued its work during the whole perion of Latvia’s occupation. Also remarkable is the week in which the resolution was pass: it was discussed and adopted on the third week of July, proclaimed in the United States as Captive Nations Week.

The Foreign Minister considers that the resolution supports the efforts of many representatives of Latvian and international society to promote a historically based understanding of the painful history of the 20th century in Russia and other countries. Taking into consideration modern-day challenges, Latvia must at the same time resolve questions of practical cooperation with Russia on issues of mutual interest to both countries.

Mr. Pabriks expressed gratitude to Representative John Shimkus, Head of the Us-Baltic parliamentary cooperation group in the US Congress, and to other congressmen who had initiated adoption of the resolution.