bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 21.05.2018 | Name days: Ingmārs, Ernestīne, Akvelīna
LithuaniaLithuania

Analysts: Lithuania with «Savchenko blacklist» urges other EU states to act

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, who announced the list

Linas Jegelevičius for the BNN

Pronouncing 46 Russian law enforcement officials, mostly prosecutors and judges, as personas non grata, or unwelcome persons, in the country, Lithuania was the first in the EU space to reaffirm its unconditional support for a Russian court-sentenced Ukrainian military pilot, Nadia Savchenko.

Although the blacklisting is seen by Lithuanian political analysts as a purely symbolic step, it will, however, test Europe in the wake of the Netherland vote against a closer EU and Ukraine partnership this month.

A symbolic but very important step

Lithuanian analysts agree unanimously that, with the announcement of «Savchenko list», Lithuania reaffirmed its unconditional support for Ukraine.

«The decision is absolutely in line with all the multiple initiatives by Lithuania aimed to bolster the case of Ukraine independence in the West,» believes Alvydas Nikžentaitis, a Lithuanian political analyst.

Although the list, he insists, is not «extraordinary» in any way, but it does send a strong message to the world that, with the conviction, Savchenko as well as the other political prisoners are not forgotten.

«The West is convinced that the criminal case against Savchenko (who is also a member of the Ukrainian Parliament (Rada)-L.J.) is trumped up, so with the list out there, Lithuania is sending a message that every person fabricating pre-trial documents (i.e. Russian prosecutors and judges-L.J.) will be chased down and justice will be ultimately served,» the analyst underlined to BNN.

Politicians can go step-in-step with events

The practical application of the list may be in question however, as the Russian prosecutors and judges linked to the Savchenko case are unlikely to set out for Lithuania.

«As a symbolic step, it is very important though,» Nikžentaitis noted.

The analyst says that, with the list, Lithuania has refuted the wide- spread understanding that Lithuanian politicians are slow to react to major developments.

«In the case, the reaction was very timely and very swift. Lithuania has proved it catches up with resonant events like this,» the analyst said.

To the idea that the Savchenko list is partly a result of a recent forum of Russian oppositions forces in Vilnius, in which Lithuania may had pledged to step on the toes of Russian officials in high-profile court cases involving non-Russian nationals, Nikžentaitis dismissed it, saying he saw «no connection» between the two.

«If we were to juxtapose the importance of Ukraine and the Russian opposition to us, the public sentiment is heavily for the former. Our politicians also favor Ukraine just because few believe that the Russian opposition can see any breakthrough with its agenda,» the analyst told.

Other countries are unlikely to follow

But Nikžentaitis admitted he was «sceptic» that other EU member states will join Lithuania in compiling a similar list of Russian officials.

«The issue of Ukraine has reached some low after the recent Netherland vote on Ukraine and EU partnership. Ukraine has long been chastised in Western media for the lackadaisical and often ineffective reforms and corruption, to remind you. So now I find it hardly plausible that other European countries could follow in Lithuania’s foot-steps and draw up similar lists,» the analyst told.

Besides, there have been increasingly stronger calls in the European Union to soften the stance against Russia, so the whole atmosphere today does not play into the hands of Ukraine, Nikžentaitis emphasized.

Support for Ukraine reaffirmed

Asked to weigh in on the notion that the «Savchenko list», as a means of the state of Lithuania to counter-argue the Russian court’s ruling, may be too excessive, Andžej Pukšto, the head of the Department of Political Science and Diplomacy at Kaunas Vytautas Magnus University, told BNN he saw the Lithuanian initiative as «a purely symbolic» step.

«By the announcement we are reaffirming our unwavering support for Ukraine and all of its citizens who have suffered in the hands of Russian law enforcement agencies,» the analyst told.

Contrary to Nikžentaitis, the analyst believes that in solidarity with Ukraine some other European nations may also soon announce their measures against Russia after the Savchenko verdict goes into force.

«I’d think that Poland will be the next European state to react to the conviction. Especially that the case has garnered a lot of attention in the country. In the West, I believe only the United Kingdom may produce some reaction against Russia,» Pukšto reasoned.

Imprisoned for 22 years

The Savchenko lists also includes Russian law officials in connection to the conviction of cinema director Oleg Sencov and human right activist Aleksandr Kolchenko, both citizens of Ukraine.

«We are talking about the Russian judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement officials who were primarily involved in the sentencing of the persons. A total of 46 persons were barred from entering Lithuania,» said Linas Linkevičius, Lithuania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

To remind, Savchenko was proclaimed guilty of allegedly murdering two Russian journalists near Lugansk, in Eastern Ukraine, and of illegally crossing the Russian border. According to Russian prosecutors, she relayed the coordinates of a checkpoint where the Russian journalists were subsequently killed by the Ukrainian artillery fire near Metalist, Ukraine, in June 2014.

A court in southern Russia has convicted the Ukrainian pilot on all charges and sentenced her to 22 years in prison and a fine of approximately 400 euro.

There have been rumours though that Savchenko will be swapped in a prisoner exchange for two Russians, who were captured during the fighting in eastern Ukraine and whom Kyiv deems Russian servicemen.

Lithuania was the first to react

The Lithuanian Foreign minister expressed hope that more European states will follow the Lithuanian example.

«Our aim (as to how to react to the convictions) is having joint actions of all Schengen space countries,» underlined the minister.

Linkevičius admitted he had proposed the EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogerini to apply the travel ban to  the Russian law enforcement officials throughout the European Union. But the EU diplomacy head has not embraced the idea, according to the minister.

«We may be coming back to the proposal later, because Savchenko’s situation is a topic of conversations of all European diplomats. Especially that her health has deteriorated,» the minister noted.

Ref: 111.111.103.3426


Leave a reply

Week in Lithuania. Liberal Movement to turn to court over VSD statements

The board of Lithuania's Liberal Movement has decided to turn to court over information published by the State Security Department, allegedly damaging the party's reputation.

BNN summary of the week: distorted state administration, Liepājas metalurgs recovery, and Latvia unemployment level

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Change; Growth; Business; Fight; Future; Opinion

New approach to combating drunk drivers – forced correction programme

Latvia’s Justice Ministry reports that the administrative penalties reform proposes introducing stricter punishments for drunk drivers. If a person is caught drunk driving, their license would be confiscated. On top of that, to recover the license, that person would have to pass a social correction programme.

Latvian MEP to «cause a scandal» where he can to stop school reform

Members of the European Parliament Andrejs Mamikins and Miroslavs Mitrofanovs have gathered support from 114 of their fellow MEPs to request the Latvian government and Saeima to review the already approved amendments to the Education Law and General Education Law that govern realization of the national minorities’ school reform, as confirmed by Mamikins.

Germany criticises U.S. attempts to block Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline

As to the controversial Nord Stram 2 Russian gas pipeline via Baltic sea to Germany, the German Economy has evaluated that American attempts to block it could be aimed at increasing U.S. a planned Russia-Germany gas pipeline to increase its own energy exports.

Number of complaints about taxi services at Riga International Airport on a rise

The number of complaints about taxi services at Riga International Airport continues to increase, said the airport’s board chairperson Ilona Līce in an interview to 900 seconds programme of LNT.

Ryanair sees Estonia as important market, considers local hub option

Irish low-fare airline Ryanair considers Estonia an important market, the firm's chief executive Michael O'Leary noted while visiting Tallinn earlier in the week.

Minister: UN should act to call violators of international law to justice

«The United Nation Security Council, as the main institution maintaining peace and security, has a special responsibility, because its activities affect compliance with international law,» says Latvia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs.

Banks to report private persons whose account turnover exceeds EUR 15,000

From 18 May onward, banks will have to report private persons whose annual account turnover exceeds EUR 15,000, as provided by the Cabinet of Ministers’ supported order, under which the State Revenue Service is to be provided with information about a private person’s turnover and balance.

Baltic States request expanding NATO’s battalion with air and naval forces

Baltic States plan to request expanding international NATO battalion with air and naval forces, as confirmed by Lithuanian Foreign Affairs Minister Lino Linkevičiaus, who met with US President’s National Security Advisor John R. Bolton in Washington alongside his Latvian and Estonian colleagues.

Poland uncovers Russian hybrid war networks

Poland has detained a Russian national suspected of working with accomplices to stimulate social tension with neighbouring Ukraine and neutralised two Russian hybrid war networks, the Polish Internal Security agency has stated.

Weather in Latvia to remain moderately warm in Latvia; precipitation to be low

On Friday, 18 May, some areas of Latvia will experience thunderstorms. However, starting from the end of the week, weather will become dry again with little precipitation. Rain cloud will form above Latvia in the second half of the week, as reported by Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Construction output rise in Latvia was more rapid than EU’s average level in Q4 2017

Compared to last year’s October-December, Latvia’s construction output in Q4 2017 grew 19.9%, which is a much more rapid rise than the average in the European Union, according to data published by Eurostat on Thursday, 17 May.

Latvian Saeima’s committee does not support Kušners’ re-approval in Bank of Latvia council

On Thursday, 17 May, Saeima’s Budget and Finance Committee decided not to recommend Edvards Kušners for a repeated term in the council of the Bank of Latvia.

Control Service Chief: wages in the service should be twice as large

Wages in the Anti-Money Laundering or Control Service should be equal to what is paid to people working in the Finance and Capital Market Commission, so twice as large as it is now, said Control Service’s Chief Ilze Znotiņa in an interview to Ir magazine.

SEB Bank’s factoring portfolio up 41% in the first quarter of 2018

In addition, similar to the volume of goods and services of Latvia’s exporting companies, which had increased unexpectedly rapidly in Q1 2018 – by 15%, there has also been a significant increase for the number of factoring deals.

Latvia experienced a rapid increase in registration of new cars in January-April period

In the first four months of 2018, Latvia has experienced a more rapid increase of newly registered cars than the average in the European Union, according to information from European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.

In Slovak Kuciak's investigation, phone of his colleague journalist confiscated

As Slovak law enforcement continues to investigate the murder of Ján Kuciak, prosecutors have confiscated the smart phone of a colleague of the investigative journalist – a move condemned by the country's media organisations.

Nurses’ wages up 50-70%, but still far from competitive

Wages of nurses of Pauls Stradins Clinical University Hospital have grown 50-60%. However, there is still a long way to go before they become competitive, said Stradins Hospital’s head nurse Eva Cela in an interview to Latvijas Radio.

Head of powerful Seimas committee: certain media outlets can be stripped of licenses

In a new twist of the prolonged scandal over the influence of the powerful business holding MG Baltic on Lithuania‘s politics for years through its own television channels LNK, BTV, TV1, Info TV and Liuks!, Vytautas Bakas, chairman of the powerful parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence in a TV interview poured gasoline on the fire, proposing that certain media organisations acting against the state's interests must have their licenses revoked.

Second Rail Baltica railway line construction project announced in Latvia

Continuing the realization of activities associated with Rail Baltica project, RB Rail has announced the next procurement process, as confirmed by the company.

Tartu railway fire partly stops trains at Estonian second city

In Estonia, railway traffic to an from the city of Tartu has partly stopped and been substituted with buses after a signal box fire.

Coface: signs in business sector point towards economic decline risks

There is currently a rather optimistic situation across all business sectors and the country’s economy as a whole. However, considering the positive environment, the question for how long this period of economic growth will continue remains topical, notes international credit risk insurance company Coface manager in Baltic States Mantvīds Štareika.

Argentine prepares for Russia with advice to approach «Russian girls»

«How to stand a chance with a Russian girl» - the Argentine Football Association has been criticised for giving such advice in a manual to journalists travelling to the football World Cup in Russia.

KPV LV: Latvia has too many industry councils, which distorts state administration

Latvia has too many industry councils, which distorts state administration. The coalition council should be liquidated entirely, says KPV LV co-chairman Atis Zakatistovs.

Newest comments