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2015.09.08 13:45

Provocative Initiative on Klaipėda Region

Algirdas Acus, LRT 2015.09.08 13:45

Lithuanian State Security Department warned about provocation on the Internet calling to sign a petition on incorporation of Klaipeda region into Russia, amid concerns over ongoing crisis in Ukraine.  

Lithuanian State Security Department warned about provocation on the Internet calling to sign a petition on incorporation of Klaipeda region into Russia, amid concerns over ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

In a press release, the Department says that the petition on Klaipeda was published on the New York-registered Internet portal avaaz.org.

The portal has already contained a few provocative initiatives; however, since it is nearly unknown, they did not achieve any goal. This time, the petition on Klaipeda was 'discovered' and published by persons involved in advocating Russian interests in Lithuania.

The State Security Department urges Internet users and the media to take a clear-headed and pragmatic position on such provocations and stay away from them. Lithuanians are encouraged to follow the wise attitude of the Ukrainian citizens in their response to far sharper provocations from the Kremlin.

The Department also reminds that such public calls to violate sovereignty or territorial integrity of the Lithuanian Republic shall be recognised a crime and may incur punishment up to five years in prison.

Representatives of the Lithuanian largest parties – the ruling Social Democrats and the opposition, Conservatives, expressed their deep objection over the Internet provocation on incorporation of the Klaipeda region into Russia.

Representatives of Russian community in Klaipeda also condemned the initiative.

Klaipeda region was annexed from Lithuania by Nazi Germany in 1939. In the final stages of the WWII it was occupied by Soviet forces, and was formally annexed by the Soviet Union, cleared of its native German population, and made a part of the Lithuanian SSR in 1948.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990, it has been part of the Republic of Lithuania, as it was during Interwar period.

As of 2007, the population in Klaipeda was 186 thousand, 74% of them Lithuanians and nearly 20% Russians.

SHOTLIST

Vs Russian petition in avaaz.org urging to sign on incorporation of Klaipeda region into Russia

Representatives of Lithuanian State Security Department arriving at the presser:

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

GEDIMINAS GRINA, Director of Lithuanian State Security Department:
 

We do not see it as a simple crime, but as a threat to national security. If persons who did this will be identified, law enforcement institutions may step in and act in accordance with the criminal code, investigating a crime, not a threat.

More of avaaz.org petition

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

ARTURAS PAULAUSKAS, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for National Security and Defence:
 

This is an attempt targeted at violating our sovereignty and territorial integrity. Therefore, a criminal case should be opened and a trial started. If needed, cooperation, for example with the United States could be launched in order to receive their legal assistance in finding out who started this and what are their aims. However, I think that symptoms are clear and investigation has to be started. We will address in this matter the prosecutor.

Vs of Klaipeda city

Soundbite (Lithuanian)

ALEKSANDR MICHAILOV, Representative of the Klaipėda Russian Community:
 

On the surface it may seem to be a rowdy job, but in fact this petition is aimed at making mischief between Lithuanians, Russians and Ukrainians. I see it as a political provocation. Under circumstances we should act responsibly, because laws in all countries prohibit such kind of activity.

More of Klaipeda