Act of 16 February


The Council of Lithuania in its session of 16 February 1918 decided unanimously to address the governments of Russia, Germany, and other states with the following declaration:

The Council of Lithuania, as the sole representative of the Lithuanian nation, in conformity with the recognised right to national self-determination and in accordance with the resolution of the Vilnius Conference of 18–23 September 1917, proclaims the restoration of the independent state of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital, and declares the termination of all state ties that formerly bound this State to other nations.

The Council of Lithuania also declares that the foundation of the Lithuanian State and its relations with other states must be finally determined by the Constituent Assembly (Seimas), to be elected democratically by all the inhabitants of Lithuania, and convoked as soon as possible.

The Council of Lithuania, in informing the Government of ..................... to this effect, kindly requests the recognition of the Independent State of Lithuania.


Vilnius, 16 February 1918

Dr. J. Basanavičius, S. Banaitis, M. Biržiška, K. Bizauskas, P. Dovydaitis, S. Kairys, P. Klimas, Donatas Malinauskas, P. Mironas, S. Narutowicz, Alfonsas Petrulis, K. Šaulys, Dr. J. Šaulys, J. Šernas, A. Smetona, J. Smilgevičius, J. Staugaitis, A. Stulginskis, J. Vailokaitis, J. Vileišis