G. Landsbergis on the search for Lithuanians in Russia: „Such things must be taken seriously“

Following Russia's announcement that it is searching for Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, Culture Minister Simonas Kairys and other politicians, Lithuanian diplomatic Chief Gabrielius Landsbergis says his ministry will check the integrity of this information. However, the Minister notes that Moscow's move is „a kind of reward“ for politicians who actively support Ukraine's fight against Russia.

G. Landsbergis<br>Photo credits: J. Kalinskas (ELTA).
G. Landsbergis<br>Photo credits: J. Kalinskas (ELTA).
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Feb 13, 2024, 2:29 PM

„This is completely new information. First of all, if we have such possibilities, we need to check its authenticity – as I understand it, this is information from a leaked database; it is not official information,“ G. Landsbergis told journalists at the Seimas on Tuesday. „This is a kind of award for people who value Ukraine and support the struggle of good against evil,“ he said.

However, the Minister continued that if the published information is confirmed, the persons on the lists should not be dismissed out of hand – this, according to Gabrielius Landsbergis, would be yet another manifestation of the Kremlin's modes of operation.

„If the information is confirmed, it indicates Russia's modes of operation. It means that a person, even with immunity – like the Estonian Prime Minister – could have a challenge with law enforcement in a third country, which would decide to execute a Russian arrest warrant without the person even knowing about it,“ the Minister warned.

„You have to take these things seriously and evaluate your travels similarly,“ urged Mr Landsbergis.

As ELTA recalls, Moscow declared Estonian Prime Minister Kallas a „wanted person“ on Tuesday. On Tuesday, the Russian opposition website Mediazona also reported that Lithuanian Culture Minister Simonas Kairys was on the wanted list. Mediazona found the two politicians after downloading the entire publicly available search database – almost 100,000 search cards – from the Russian Interior Ministry's website. The database does not specify under which article K. Kallas and S. Kairys are searched.

In addition to K. Kallas and S. Kairys, the database of wanted persons includes more than 100 Eastern European officials and politicians whom Russia has prosecuted following the demolition of Soviet monuments in their countries. They include two-thirds of the previous Latvian Saeima (Parliament), members of the Riga, Klaipėda, Vilnius, and the Ukrainian city councils of Lutsk and Rivne, the mayor of the Polish city of Walbrzych and the Polish Deputy Minister of State Property.

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