Dr. Zenonas Butkus, Professor, Dean of Vilnius University History Faculty
Lithuania is quite united, but you can never have too much of solidarity. At present the country is fragmented, in particular, in social terms, with distinct social inequality and different attitudes – some people are supporting ideas, while others are pushing pragmatism. It is “The Baltic Way” symbolically renewed after 20 years which can mobilise the nation again, because two decades ago radical and more moderate forces united to form the chain from Vilnius to Tallinn.
There are very many things that unite the Nation. For example, we should unite for the sake of recovery of the destroyed economy, to protect Lithuania against Africanization – practically we do not produce anything – only consume. We were going to Europe, but found ourselves in Africa. Furthermore, it is important to protect Lithuania from external influences and to maintain the natural political process, otherwise Lithuania will weaken and will not use the opportunities opened up by our status as a free country.
I am positive about the Project of Tadas Gutauskas, because it has the potential to stimulate citizenship and solidarity and help to refresh weakened relationships with our northern neighbours – our real and indispensable allies. Before “The Baltic Way” the world used to treat Sąjūdis Movement and the Baltic fronts only as cultural organisations, as societies for the protection of animals. It was in “The Baltic Way” that Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia became countries striving for statehood. “The Baltic Way” represents the establishment of our country – this important and impressive campaign was responsible for the serious attitude towards all three Baltic States and their goals.