Ukrainian filmmaker and Crimea activist Oleg Sentsov, who is visiting Vilnius, says Lithuanians could help Ukrainians change and become more European.
“You are doing everything in your power [and] we are happy about everything, [...] but we must first change ourselves,” Sentsov told reporters after meeting with Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.
“We shouldn't be beggars who run around and ask everyone for scraps from the table. This is unworthy of the country,” the filmmaker, who was released from a Russian prison in September, said.
“We must become a strong, independent, equal partner, and then perhaps we'll be admitted to the European Union. We don't need to knock on the door like beggars,” the activist said.
“Help us change so that we become more European than we are now,” he added.
Sentsov was detained in Russia-annexed Crimea and sentenced to 20 years in a Russian prison on charges of terrorism in 2015. He was freed in September as part of a prisoner swap between Ukraine and Russia.
Lithuania and other Western countries took the position that the charges had been fabricated to punish the filmmaker for his civic initiatives.