13 Nov 2017 21:02

Russia to respond to Lithuania's unfriendly steps - Russian ambassador in Vilnius

TALLINN. Nov 13 (Interfax) - Russia will respond to the unfriendly steps Lithuania is planning against the Russian Federation, Ambassador Alexander Udaltsov said.

When asked by Interfax on Monday to comment on the Seimas (Lithuanian parliament) drafting amendments to the law on foreigners' legal status, the Russian ambassador to Lithuania said that Seimas was planning to pass the amendments in the third reading on November 16.

"Essentially, they are the analogue of the U.S. Magnitsky Act. To Russia, this came as no surprise. Put bluntly, we are not surprised by this move. It is clear that the current Lithuanian Seimas will back any nasty move against Russia or think up its own one. Paradoxically, this is now a priority in the international activity of the Lithuanian Republic's parliament, the whole point of its unsophisticated 'Eastern policy'," Udaltsov said.

"However, banning a number of Russian citizens from entering Lithuania looks downright ridiculous: no serious person in our country has visited here in a long time. Basically, there is no one to talk to and nothing to talk about here right now," Udaltsov said

Unlike in Lithuania, the situation in other Baltic countries is somewhat different: "For example, Russian first deputy foreign minister Vladimir Titov is arriving in Riga today, the Russia-Latvian intergovernmental commission has resumed its work, the Russian president's special representative for international cultural cooperation Mikhail Shvydkoi has just visited Tallinn. A delegation from our foreign ministry will be traveling there soon," the ambassador said.

He recalled that, "the other day even U.S. President Trump asked the overdue question, When will all the haters and fools out there realize that having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing?"

Asked whether a Russian reaction would follow should the Seimas pass the aforesaid amendments, Udaltsov said: "Of course, we will have to respond to yet another unfriendly step by Lithuania and bar entry to Russia to a number of unwelcome individuals from this country. And right now there are quite a few candidates for this role."