Founder of Open Russia, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, urged EU Foreign Ministers not to turn away from Russian civil society
On 27 May, on the eve of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, Minister Linas Linkevičius invited his fellow ministers to an informal business dinner with Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the founder of the movement Open Russia.
Minister Linkevičius underlined that the meeting was Lithuania’s direct input into the support that the European Union Foreign Affairs Council gives to strengthening of and engagement with Russian civil society.
“In Lithuania, we believe in the prospects of a free, democratic and European Russia therefore we held the fifth already Vilnius Russia Forum in Lithuania which was a platform for open discussions about the future of Russia. Today’s debate is important because the EU’s investment in this direction is still inadequate,” Linas Linkevičius said. He noted that Khodorkovsky urged to comply with the rule of law vis-à-vis the Kremlin and not to turn away from Russian civil society.
The debate focused on the situation in Russia after the President was re-elected there, on the state of its civil society, Kremlin’s aggressive foreign policy, on-going military aggression in its neighbourhood, and attempts to divide and destabilise societies of the USA and EU member states.
This was the second debate of the kind, organised by the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs. A business breakfast was held with Vladimir Kara-Murza in the margins of the EU Foreign Affairs Council in October 2017.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on 17 April, received a response to its note of 12 April over safety and security of the staff of the Lithuanian diplomatic representation and their family members in Moscow from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
On 4 April, at NATO Foreign Ministers meeting in Washington, Minister Linas Linkevičius called for response to the actions of Russia in the Black Sea region and in the area of arms control that are weakening European security.
Lithuania strongly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. We condemn the ongoing military aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine that flagrantly violates international law, the Charter of the United Nations, the provisions of the Helsinki Final Act, and bilateral agreements between Ukraine and Russia. We will continue to support Ukraine and coherently implement the policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea five years ago.
We appreciate the efforts the United States have undertaken to engage Russia with a view to preserving the INF treaty.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs deplores the statement issued by the Embassy of the Russian Federation which prevents the 17th youth expedition “Misija Sibiras” (Mission Siberia) from traveling to locations in Russia where Lithuanian deportees are buried which was intended to take place from 17 July to 1 August.