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Lithuania blacklists Russian TV crew over ‘threat to national security’

March 10, 11:38 UTC+3 VILNIUS
Lithuanian migration service stressed that Russian journalists need to fly back to Moscow on the first flight from Vilnius
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© Sergey Karpov/TASS, archive

VILNIUS, March 10. /TASS/. Lithuania’s authorities have put a group of Russian journalists on a blacklist over their potential threat to the republic’s national security, the state security department of Lithuania said on Thursday.

The crew of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) has been included in the list of "undesired persons," a spokesman said. "It is has not been expelled from the country yet, however this will happen soon."

The Rossiya 1 TV channel’s press service said Lithuania’s authorities announced the decision on Thursday to expel VGTRK correspondent Pavel Zarubin and the TV crew that worked with him in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius.

"The official reason for deportation is the possible threat to Lithuania’s national security," the press service of the TV channel, part of VGTRK, confirmed. The correspondents wanted to interview Russian citizens who take part in the two-day Free Russia Forum that opened in Vilnius on March 9, it said.

The event, attended by members of the non-system opposition, including Garry Kasparov, will focus on scenarios of political and social and economic development of Russia.

"Neither he nor other members of the TV crew were allowed to attend the event of the so-called non-system opposition. Now Pavel Zarubin is expelled from the country," the TV channel said.

Under the law, the TV crew members have 48 hours to leave the country, but the migration service stressed that Russian journalists need to fly back to Moscow on the first flight from Vilnius.

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