Lithuania's secessionist Parliament agreed Friday to drop conditions on negotiations with the Kremlin over Lithuanian independence and called for a new round of talks, the Baltic government said.
The vote by the Lithuanian Supreme Council was intended to restart talks with Soviet officials that were bogged down over Lithuania's demand for signing of a "protocol on the starting, goals and conditions" of negotiations.Soviet officials had refused during preliminary talks to sign the protocol, insisting those talks themselves represented negotiations.
The sides agreed last June to start negotiations after Soviet officials said they would lift an economic embargo if Lithuania suspended its March declaration of independence for 100 days.
Counting toward the deadline would begin with the start of negotiations. No date was given for the start of the talks.
The Parliament voted Friday "to allow the state delegation . . . to begin negotiations with the USSR without a previously determined negotiations commencement protocol but without violating the sovereignty of the Lithuania state," according to Lithuanian statement sent by telex.
Lithuania President Vytautas Landsbergis, in a speech to the Parliament, said he was ready "to soften the demand for a . . . protocol whose signing the Lithuanian side had considered necessary for the start of negotiations," the pro-Lithuanian news agency Baltfax reported.