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11 August 2021, 16:16
Maria Zakharova

Lithuania's minister of the interior deprives her citizens of the very opportunity to express their civil stance

Maria Zakharova
Maria Zakharova
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman

Russia's Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has posted a comment on her Telegram channel where she opined on the statement of Lithuania's Minister of the Interior Agnė Bilotaitė about the protests in Vilnius.

“The riots near the Seimas in Vilnius in the context of the situation with illegal migrants at the Rudninkai military training ground, near the border with Belarus, constitute an anti-state activity that has nothing to do with the freedom of expression, Lithuania's Minister of the Interior Agnė Bilotaitė believes. The Lithuanian minister called it ‘a hybrid attack',” Maria Zakharova wrote.

“How come? Lithuanian citizens are protesting, but their protests are said to have nothing to do with the freedom of expression. It turns out that Lithuania's minister of the interior deprives her citizens of the very opportunity to express their civil stance? Taking into consideration that the Lithuanian authorities constantly taught the neighboring countries democracy, I would like to continue the lesson: what forms of expression of civil stance, in the opinion of Lithuania's minister of the interior, are correct?” Maria Zakharova asked.

On 10 August, a rally was held outside the Seimas (Lithuania's parliament) in Vilnius to protest against the government's plans to impose restrictions for unvaccinated people. Some of protesters blocked the exits from the parliament building and did not allow MPs to leave the building. The police took action, which resulted in clashes with protesters. Tear gas was used, some people were injured.

The Lithuanian police launched a pre-trial investigation into the Vilnius protests, the perpetrators face up to six years in prison, Minister of the Interior Agnė Bilotaitė said.

She also linked the protests outside the parliament building in Vilnius to the riots at the migrant camp at the Rudininkai training ground. However, the minister did not provide specific evidence. She also could not name the organizers of what she called ‘coordinated actions'.

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