One of the reasons that pushed justice ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania to signing a memorandum on cooperation to claim compensation from the Russian Federation for the Soviet occupation is a legal continuity of the existence of the Baltic States.

Ukraine has no obvious reason to join the Baltic States in future claims against the Russian Federation

Most probably, the fulcrum of continuous existence of the Baltic States will be deemed a declaration of independence by these countries after the collapse of the Russian Empire.

Although some experts have publicly stated that Ukraine has no obvious reason to join the Baltic States in future claims against the Russian Federation, in fact, under these circumstances, Ukraine has all legal rights to join the memorandum of the ministers of justice of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia on cooperation in regard of claiming compensation from Russia for the Soviet occupation.

On January 22, 1918, the Central Rada of the Ukrainian National Republic (UNR) declared independence and sovereignty by signing the Fourth Universal. The deputies stated: "Henceforth the Ukrainian People's Republic becomes an independent, dependent on no one, free and sovereign state of the Ukrainian people." The Bolshevik Soviet government was outraged and escalated hostilities in the Ukrainian territory as a result.

Subsequently, on January 16, 1919, the Directory of the UNR declared war against the Soviet Russia. In this war, Ukraine was occupied by Russsia’s Bolshevik government troops. The defeat happened for many reasons: the betrayal of the UNR’s European allies, the lack of unified political agreement between the UNR leaders, etc. On August 22, 1992 the President of the Ukrainian National Republic in exile, Mykola Plavliuk, solemnly abdicated leadership of the UNR’s government in exile (The State Center of the UNR), dissolving this official body, in the presence of the president of Ukraine, the speaker and the prime minister State Center UPR and declared the young Ukraine the successor state of the UNR.

On January 16, 1919, the Directory of the UNR declared war against the Soviet Russia. In this war, Ukraine was occupied by Russia’s Bolshevik government troops.

By abdicating, the government of the UNR in exile carried out a resolution of a Labor Congress (the UNR’s parliament) of 1919, signed by Symon Petliura, chairman of the UNR’s Directory, providing for the termination of the State Center of the UNR in case of the declaration of independence by the Ukrainian state. Therefore, modern Ukraine is the successor state of the Ukrainian National Republic, with legal continuity, and has every legal right to join the Baltic States in their demand of compensation for Soviet occupation from modern Russia [the successor state of the Soviet Union].

Ruslan Radetsky is a Deputy Prosecutor of Desnianskiy district in Kyiv