5.6.1990

Time is on Their Side

June 5, 1990, a major CSCE-conference on the human dimension was held in Copenhagen, at the invitation of the Foreign Minister of Denmark, Mr. Uffe Ellemann Jensen. In attendance were the foreign ministers of all European states, plus USA and Canada. This conference was a part of a series of meetings, laying the groundwork for new relations between European states in the wake of the cold war. The Berlin Wall had been torn down, Eastern Europe had been set free, and democratically constituted governments had been formed in the Baltic states.

The newly appointed foreign ministers of the Baltic states, Meri, Jurkans and Saudargas, were knocking on the door, asking to be allowed to plead their case for independence. The Soviets presented the host with an ultimatum:if they are let in - we leave. The hosts caved in and the Balts were shown the door. When I heard the news, I threw away my prepared text and spoke exclusively on the Baltic issue, since their voices had been silenced.

What follows is the recorded text of my speech: Pdf-file

Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson