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Evans must today end fence-sitting on Baltic recognition: Hill



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR ROBERT HILL LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS Monday, August 26 Adelaide

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EVANS MOST TODAY END FENCE-SITTING OM BALTIC RECOGNITION: HILL

The Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Robert Hill, said the Foreign Minister, Senator Evans, should stop prevaricating over the Baltic States and announce today that Australia recognises Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia as

independent sovereign states.

"Contrary to Senator Evans's claims of yesterday, all criteria for the independence of the Baltic States have now been met," Senator Hill said.

"Senator Evans particularly disappointed yesterday when his spokesman could say only that Australia would 'continue to urge the main players to fast-track negotiations which would lead to independence'.

"The Baltic States clearly have governments independent of any other authority.

"The withdrawal of Soviet forces from key installations and the assumption of total control by the duly elected Baltic governments completed the prerequisites as required in international law.

"Even Boris Yeltsin has called upon the international community to recognise their independence.

"The time comes when the international community can help develop a situation which is just and proper.

"No longer is it necessary to await the determination of central authority in Moscow as that authority has collapsed.

"Yesterday, Norway and Denmark announced that diplomatic relations with the Baltic States were to be established.

"France also said it was ready to establish diplomatic relations.

"Australia should be next - the Baltic people have waited too long."

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Enquiries: Senator Hill or Mark Batistich on (08) 237 7920

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