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West forgets liberal rhetoric when dealing with protests at home — Russian diplomat

On Tuesday, Lithuanian police dispersed a protest outside the country's parliament

MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. Comparing the Lithuanian president’s comments about protests in Moscow and Lithunia, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said Western nations typically put the rhetoric of liberalism aside when it comes to dealing with protests on their own soil.

In her Telegram channel, the diplomat said Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda wrote on Twitter on January 23, 2021, that his country "strongly condemns brutal arrests of peaceful protesters" in Russia, describing the situation as "a throwback to Stalin's era."

Zakharova went on to say that on August 10, 2021, the police of Lithuania "used tear gas to disperse protestors near the Lithuanian parliament" and "injuries were reported." She quoted the Lithuanian leader as saying that "democracy is not anarchy, and the freedom of protest is not the freedom to use violence" in his address to the nation over the crackdown.

"Why did all this democratic tint and liberal veil suddenly disappear from our Western partners and their satellites when it came to dealing with a domestic issue and to dispersing protests on their own soil?" Zakharova asked rhetorically.

Citizens protesting against coronavirus-related restrictions for persons who did not vaccinate against the disease gathered outside the country’s parliament on Tuesday. Protestors blocked all exits and refused to let lawmakers leave the building. Police used tear gas to disperse them and said it was launching an investigation into the unrest that followed. According to reports, protestors threw stones and water bottles at officers who tried to push them away from the building. Injuries were reported.

In a bid to spur the vaccination campaign in the country, the government plans, among other things, to prohibit non-vaccinated citizens from using public transport, visiting healthcare facilities and certain types of shops, and receiving services that require human-to-human contact. The government is expected to approve those measures at a meeting on Wednesday.