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Moscow demands Vilnius stop harassing Russian media workers

On May 28, Marat Kasem, Editor-in-Chief of the Lithuanian branch of Russia’s Sputnikagency, was detained at Vilnius airport, as he allegedly posed a threat to national security

MOSCOW, May 29. /TASS/. Russia demands that the Lithuanian authorities stop provocations against Russian media outlets after the expulsion of a Sputnik news agency journalist from that country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

"We demand that the Lithuanian authorities finally bring themselves to their senses and stop blatant provocations against Russian media workers performing their professional duties," the ministry said.

Moscow also fully shares the criticism of police arbitrariness in Lithuania from OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, Harlem Desir, who stressed that all member-countries of that organization should promote journalists’ free movement.

"Vilnius’ outrageous actions show the real price of freedom of speech in that Baltic state, which seeks to view itself as an example of European democracy," the Russian Foreign Ministry pointed out.

On May 28, Marat Kasem, Editor-in-Chief of the Lithuanian branch of Russia’s Sputnik news agency, was detained at Vilnius airport. According to the journalist, Lithuanian officials claimed he posed a threat to national security.

Kasem, a Latvian citizen, was deported from Lithuania to Latvia. He was also banned from entering Lithuania for five years.