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Moscow says appalled by searches at Russian schools in Lithuania

December 10, 2014, 18:34 UTC+3

"Incursions of the Lithuanian criminal police with searches in Russian-language schools in Vilnius are outrageous," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said

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Classroom in a school (archive)

Classroom in a school (archive)

© ITAR-TASS/Pavel Smertin

MOSCOW, December 10. /TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry is appalled by the searches that have been held in a number of Russian-language schools in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and it sees political underpinning in these actions, Alexander Lukashevich, the ministry's official spokesman said on Thursday.

"Incursions of the Lithuanian criminal police with searches in Russian-language schools in Vilnius are outrageous," he said. "Equally outrageous are the investigative actions against the teachers and management of those schools."

"One can't help seeing an obvious political underpinning of the campaign to track down alleged internal foes at the schools where Russian is the main language of instruction," Lukashevich said. "On the whole, such actions can't be viewed otherwise than witch-hunting in the spirit of the Cold War era."

A total of two Russian schools in Vilnius — the Vassily Kachalov junior college and the Sofya Kovalevskaya general school — became targets of searches done by the Chief Police Commissariat on December 3.

Rita Aliukoniene, the prosecutor of the Vilnius district told reporters in the wake of the searches those “procedural actions” had been taken in the light of school students’ trips to a youth camp in Kyrgyzstan last summer where they had taken classes in the military history of the Soviet Union and in the current political affairs, including NATO’s political stratagems.

Aliukoniene claimed that it was necessary for the investigators gather the necessary data and documents, which would confirm the “offence” or would disprove it.

Lithuanian authorities claimed the camp in Kyrgyzstan that had brought together school children from all over the former Soviet Union was a militarized one. Vilnius municipality told all the schools to inform the Mayor’s Office on the students’ organized trips abroad.

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