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Lithuania bans entry to 46 people in connection with Savchenko case

April 13, 2016, 3:00 UTC+3 VILNIUS

New names could be added to the list, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said

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Linas Linkevicius

Linas Linkevicius


VILNIUS, April 12 /TASS/. The Lithuanian authorities has denied entry to 46 citizens of Russia and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR) who, they believed, had been involved in the trials over Ukrainian nationals Nadezhda Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov and Alexander Kolchenko, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said on Tuesday.

"Concretely, the talk is about Russian judges and prosecutors who were directly involved in the trials over these people. For the moment, 46 people have been banned from entering the Lithuanian territory," the Delfi web portal quoted Linkevicius as saying.

The minister clarified that new names could be added to the list. Lithuania has become the first and so far the only EU country to impose sanctions on Russia in connection with the Savchenko case.

The Lithuanian foreign minister has called on other EU countries to follow suit. He has asked EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini to impose similar EU sanctions on Russia but has received no EU support as of yet.

A court in the Russian city of Donetsk, the Rostov region, sentenced the former Ukrainian pilot Nadezhda Savchenko to 22 years in a general regime colony and a fine worth 30,000 rubles (about 460 USD) on March 22 this year. She was found guilty on charges of involvement in the murder of two journalists of the All Russian Television and Radio Broadcasting Network (VGTRK), Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, and of illegal crossing of the Russian state border.

A district military court in the North Caucasus sentenced Ukrainian national Oleg Sentsov to 20 years in a high-security prison and his accomplice Alexander Kolchenko to 10 years in a high-security prison on August 25 last year. According to investigators, Sentsov created a terrorist organization in Crimea. Its members launched two terror attacks in the Crimean capital Simferopol in spring 2014: they put the offices of the Russian Community of Crimea public organization and the United Russia party’s regional branch on fire.

Ukraine imposed personal sanctions on 48 officials from Russia and Ukraine’s Donbas region who, according to the Kiev government, are involved in the trials of Nadezhda Savchenko, Oleg Sentsov and Alexander Kolchenko. The list includes Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Russian Investigation Committee, and Federal Security Service Chief Alexander Bortnikov who are banned from entering Ukraine as well as Crimea’s Prosecutor Natalya Poklonskaya.

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