The Baltic States and the United States have reaffirmed application of the Welles Declaration, which laid the foundation for the United States of America’s non-recognition policy, by which it never formally accepted the occupation and annexation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania by the Soviet Union.

The U.S. Secretary of State and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have made a joint statement with regard to the 80th Anniversary of the Welles Declaration.

‘We stand firmly against any attempts by Russia to rewrite history in order to justify the 1940 occupation and annexation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union… The Welles Declaration’s historic importance remains highly relevant in the 21st century, when some countries challenge the key principles and norms of a rules-based international order – notably sovereignty and territorial integrity.  The principles of the Welles Declaration were rightly invoked again on July 25, 2018, when the United States confirmed its refusal to accept the attempted annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation’, the statement reads.

Earlier, in July 2018, the U.S. Department of State released the Crimea Declaration, which is the basis of U.S. policy on the non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the peninsula.

‘In concert with allies, partners, and the international community, the United States rejects Russia’s attempted annexation of Crimea and pledges to maintain this policy until Ukraine’s territorial integrity is restored,’ the 2018 Declaration states.