A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania on the exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the return of Ukrainian citizens who were illegally captured and detained by Russia. Among the released prisoners is Oleh Sencov, winner of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2018, Edem Bekirov, a Crimean Tatar activist and other political prisoners, as well as 24 sailors captured during the aggressive actions of Russia in the Strait of Kerch in 2018. We share the joy of the families of those released and wish them a prompt recovery.
At the same time, we note that the ruling of May 25 this year of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea on, which ordered Russia to immediately release 24 Ukrainian sailors and three Ukrainian vessels illegally detained in the Kerch Strait, remains unimplemented as sailors became a part of the exchange.
We urge Russia to unconditionally free other Ukrainian citizens who are illegally detained in the territory of the Russian Federation. We hope that the prisoner swap will not affect the investigation of the tragic disaster of downing Malaysian Air flight MH17 as well as identification and prosecution of perpetrators.
On 26 February, marking the Day of Resistance to Occupation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses its strong support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. We strongly condemn the Russian military aggression against Ukraine that started seven years ago and still continues, and the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol in gross violation of international law.
On 2 February, on the initiative of Lithuania, the Foreign Ministers of the Baltic states sent letters to the heads of the Council of Europe and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), condemning the use of violence against peaceful protesters by Russian authorities and calling on the international community to take immediate action to stop mass detentions of protestors and journalists across Russia.
December 17, 2020
I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Moscow Mechanism invoking participating States: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, as well as the following countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Republic of Lithuania and Ukraine recognize the multi-centennial historical and cultural links between their nations.
On 18 June, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius had a telephone conversation with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, and discussed bilateral cooperation, the reform process in Ukraine, and the Eastern Partnership policy.
On June 18 a representative of the Embassy of the Russian Federation was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania to express profound concern about the recent legislative initiative of State Duma deputy A. Zhuravlev to revoke USSR Supreme Council Resolution of 24 December 1989 condemning of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and its secret protocols, which divided Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influences and paved the way to invading Poland in 1939 and led to the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states in 1940.