One of the first Soviet republics to break away, Estonia declared its independence from the Soviet Union in March 1990. Although the Soviet Union was at first reluctant to grant its independence, international support forced it to accept a free Estonia, which was admitted to the United Nations on September 17, 1991.
The first Baltic state to do so, Lithuania proclaimed its independence on March 11, 1990. At first the Soviet Union reacted with economic sanctions, but relented in the face of increasing international support for Lithuanian independence. Lithuania joined the United Nations on September 17, 1991.