Statement on Russian Investigative Committee‘s actions against Lithuanian judges and prosecutors
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania considers that by deciding to institute criminal proceedings against Lithuanian judges and prosecutors who investigate the case of January 13, the Investigative Committee of Russia openly asserts pressure on Lithuania, its courts, and law enforcement officials.
Unfortunately, the Russian Federation has continuously clung to its Soviet past in a country that respected neither human life, freedom, nor the sovereignty of its neighbouring countries. A transformation of Russia's law enforcement structures into a repressive apparatus has been accelerating. This apparatus, instead of playing a role of the system of Checks and Balances, so common in democratic powers, more often resembles an instrument of self-will and licence.
The accusation that the case against the organizers and perpetrators of the aggression of January 13 is not based on objective evidence is especially cynical, bearing in mind that the accusing country has never responded to requests of the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Ministry of Justice of Lithuania to cooperate in this particular case, as well as in the Medininkai massacre case. In addition, the accusing country has actively hidden and protected chief executive officers and perpetrators of the acts of armed aggression against our peaceful residents, and took all possible measures to help them avoid liability. The rhetoric of the Investigative Committee of Russia distorts the facts and seeks to create an alternative reality.
We note that the long-time investigation has been completed, the case of January 13 has been taken to court, and is currently under investigation there. Namely the court will take a decision regarding the appropriate punishment for the perpetrators of these crimes or for those who have contributed to them. A corresponding verdict has already been pronounced in the Medininkai massacre case. Lithuania will continue to make every effort in order to ensure that justice prevails in the January 13 and Medininkai cases.
We recall that hundreds of thousands of Russians spontaneously took to streets of Moscow, St. Petersburg (then called 'Leningrad'), and other Russian cities in January, 1991, to protest against the criminal actions by the Soviet Armed Forces and their collaborators in Vilnius. We believe that today's decision of the Russian Investigative Committee attempts to sow discord among our two nations and does not reflect the true position of the Russian people on this issue.
Such actions taken by the Russian Federation are hurting our bilateral relations.