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Lithuania’s settling of historic accounts with Russia leading nowhere — diplomat

January 15, 19:56 UTC+3 MOSCOW

This approach doesn’t invoke anything but deep regret, the Foreign Minister spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said

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MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. The method of settling historic accounts with Russia chosen by the Lithuanian authorities is not leading anywhere, Maria Zakharova, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokesperson said in a comment on the continuing attempts by Lithuanian politicians to politicize the tragic events around the Vilnius TV tower in January 1991.

"It’s obvious the settling of historic accounts with Russia that the Lithuanian government has taken to is a blind alley, and this approach doesn’t invoke anything but deep regret," she said. "It’s time to turn over the page linked to the tragic events around the Vilnius TV tower and to give historians an opportunity to consider that complicated period of history calmly and in an unbiased manner."

"Russia has more than once made explanations on its position," Zakharova said. "It’s totally inadmissible and immoral to build politics on human grief, to say nothing of the politics that crudely misrepresents facts and interprets history in the clue lucrative for Vilnius but damaging historic objectivity."

"This predestines the character of the shamefully rigged trial over the so-called January 13, 1991, case underway in Lithuanian capital," she said. "It tramples on the most fundamental principles of justice, including the inadmissibility of imparting retroactive force of legal acts."

Zakharova recalled in this connection that the Lithuanian side was still keeping in jail without legal grounds the Lieutenant Colonel of the Russian Army, Ret., Yuri Mel.

In January 1991, during the period of diarchy in the Lithuania that was falling off the Soviet Union, 14 people died during armed clashes with riot police near the compound of the television tower in Vilnius.

Lithuanian prosecutors allege that Lt.-Col. Mel was inside a tank, which took part in an assault on the television tower overnight to January 13, 1991. He was detained in Lithuania in March, 2014. He entered the country legally from the territory of Russia’s Baltic exclave Kaliningrad region.

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