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Lithuania/Russia: Border Agreement Signed

Moscow, 24 October 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Russian and Lithuanian Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Algirdas Brazauskas signed a long-awaited border agreement in Moscow today, marking the successful conclusion of four years of talks.

The agreement delineates the land border between Lithuania and Russia's Kaliningrad region and well as their common sea border.

Russian news agencies quote Yeltsin as saying that the two leaders are amazed at how much relations have improved, saying they had settled all bilateral problems. Itar-Tass quotes Brazauskas as saying he well remembers when Yeltsin spoke out in defense of Lithuania when then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev cracked down on its independence efforts in early 1991.

Lithuania thus becomes the first Baltic state to conclude a border agreement with Russia. Border negotiations between Russia and the other two Baltic states, Latvia and Estonia, are still in progress.