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Lithuania Prohibits Entry of 15 Russian Officials Following Imprisonment of Kara-Murza

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The Lithuanian authorities have said that the country has decided to prohibit 15 Russian law enforcement officials from entering the country.

Announcing the news, the Ministry of Interior of Lithuania said that the decision to ban the 15 law enforcement officials was taken following the imprisonment of Vladimir Kara-Murza, reports.

Vladimir Kara-Murza is a Russian politician, author, as well as historian who has been imprisoned in Moscow since April for speaking out against the ongoing war in Ukraine.

His imprisonment has been seen as unlawful by the Lithuanian authorities and for this reason, the country has decided to prohibit the entry of law enforcement officers responsible for his detention into Lithuania.

Commenting on the government’s decision, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Gabrielius Landsbergis, said that for as long as the current Russian regime remains in force, the threat posed by Russia remains.

“The persecutors of V. Kara-Murza must receive international sanctions and be included in the lists of undesirable persons,” Landsbergis stressed.

The Minister of Interior of Lithuania, Agnė Bilotaitė, also commented on the matter. She said that such actions must not be tolerated and at the same time pointed out that persons assisting the Russian regime are not welcome in Lithuania.

“Lithuania is sending a clear message – persons assisting the regime, who contributed to gross violations of the personal rights of the human rights defender of the Russian Federation, are not welcome in our country. We have an unequivocal position. This must not be tolerated anywhere in a democratic state,” the statement of Bilotaitė reads.

The Ministry explains that the sanctions imposed against the 15 Russian officials are based on the country’s current laws – Article 133, Part 4 of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania “On the Legal Status of Foreigners”.

Based on such a law, foreigners who support and engage in actions that violate international principles and norms are banned from entering.

Consequently, the individuals that are included in the national sanction list are prohibited from entering any other Member States of the European Union. Moreover, they are also prohibited from entering EU Free Trade Association and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member states and Lithuania for a period of five years.

Lithuania keeps restrictive measures in place for tens of other Russians and also does not permit the entry of Russian citizens into the country for travel and some other purposes. The country highly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and consistently updates its rules.