Soldiers patrolled the streets of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius Tuesday and troops manned checkpoints on roads into the city, but there was no new violence reported, the government said.
A government spokesman said Lithuanians were bracing for more action by troops to reassert Soviet control because the world's attention is focused on the Jan. 15 deadline for Iraq to pull out of Kuwait."We are very pessimistic because this is the last day before war may start in Iraq," Lithuanian Parliament spokesman Haris Subacius said by telephone from Vilnius. "It has frightened us very much."
A delegation sent by the Federation Council and authorized to represent Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev continued mediating the Lithuanian crisis three days after 14 people were killed in a troop assault on the television center.
Presidents Levon Ter-Petrosyan of Armenia and Nikolai Dementi of Byelorussia, and Boris Oleinik, representing the federal parliament, met Tuesday morning with Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis, Subacius said.
Results of the delegation's mediation effort were to be announced later. They have been meeting with Lithuanian leaders, Soviet military officers and representatives of the National Salvation Committee set up by communists in Lithuania to take power from the elected government.
Subacius said Vilnius was generally quiet Tuesday morning and for the first time in four days there were no more building takeovers by Soviet troops.
But he said the commander of the Soviet army in Vilnius ordered soldiers to patrol the streets and checkpoints on a number of roads were manned by light tanks and troops.
"They are checking documents and the trunks of cars," Subacius said. "They have declared that only the military commandant can decide who goes in and out."