WASHINGTON MARK MATTHEWS OF THE SUN'S WASHINGTON BUREAU CONTRIBUTED TO THIS ARTICLE. — WASHINGTON -- Lithuanian and Latvian leaders told Congress yesterday that a decision by Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to impose presidential rule in the strife-torn Baltic region would be met with civil disobedience and strikes that could swell into "uncontrollable resistance."
The Baltic leaders also said a February summit between Mr. Gorbachev and President Bush should not be held until Soviet troops leave the region, where they have killed at least 19 and wounded scores of others in assaults on government buildings aimed at quelling Baltic independence.
"The people of Latvia are at this moment united upon the barricades and will not retreat in the face of Communist aggression," Dainis Ivans, vice president of the Latvian Supreme Council, told the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe -- the Helsinki Commission. "Under these circumstances, it is unthinkable that the planned summit . . . could take place."