America Abroad

The Price of Freedom

VILNIUS. While Russia was electing its first real President, the Baltic republics were going about their own democratic business. In Estonia, four anticommunist parties pushed for legislation to break up collective farms and convert them into private plots. In Latvia, parliamentarians vigorously debated emergency health care for local soldiers who helped clean up the Chernobyl disaster five years ago. In Lithuania, the Supreme Council passed a new social-welfare bill that will require raising taxes.

The Balts' strategy is to achieve sovereignty in increments. They have already established their own border posts and invited Western economists to advise them on how to...

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