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Russia is informed about Lithuania’s response to the attack in the UK
On 26 March, as agreed upon with the EU partners, the Ambassador of Russia to Lithuania Alexander Udaltsov was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania over the attack in the UK. The Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Darius Skusevičius handed the Russian Ambassador a protest note, informing that three employees of the Russian Embassy had been named undesirable for activities incompatible with their diplomatic status.
The recent poisoning of the former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the beginning of March in Salisbury, the United Kingdom, is the first time since the Second World War that chemical weapons were used in Europe. So far, more than 20 other people have been affected by the nerve agent.
On 23 March, the European Council agreed with the United Kingdom’s assessment that it was highly likely that the Russian Federation was responsible for this attack and that the Council stood “in solidarity with the United Kingdom in the face of this grave challenge to our shared security”.
By expelling persons who had engaged in activities incompatible with their diplomatic status, the countries are expressing their solidarity with the United Kingdom and seeking to take action against Russia’s spy networks in Europe, thus strengthening their security and resilience to hostile activities.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania also suggests that the Minister of the Interior should include 21 person in the list of persons who are prohibited to enter the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with the provisions of the Law on the Status of Aliens, which impose such sanctions for serious human rights violations, corruption and money laundering (the so-called Magnitsky Act).
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, as recommended by competent Lithuanian institutions and in response to corresponding actions by allies, addresses the Migration Department suggesting to ban another 23 persons from entering Lithuania in the face of threats to public order and internal security.