Lithuanian diplomats seek access to child taken by father to Kaliningrad

  • 2023-08-29
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian diplomats are seeking access to a baby girl who was unlawfully taken by her father to Russia's exclave of Kaliningrad on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry told BNS. 

A request for assistance from the child's mother was received on Monday, according to Paulina Levickyte, an advisor to the foreign minister.

On the same day, Lithuania's Consulate General in Kaliningrad sent an official note to the Russian Foreign Ministry's representative office in the region, asking for information on the whereabouts of the minor Lithuanian citizen and for permission to visit her.

Russian officials have not replied to the note so far.

"The Consulate General in Kaliningrad is in contact with the child's mother and is providing her with consular assistance," P. Levickyte said.

Lithuania's authorities said on Monday that the 37-year-old man on Sunday took the child, born in 2022, from her mother and crossed the Skirvyte River by boat into Russia, where he was detained by Russian border guards.

Russia refuses to hand the child and the man over to Lithuania, saying that he holds both Russian and Lithuanian passports. 

Vilmantas Vitkauskas, head of Lithuania's National Crisis Management Center, said on Tuesday that Russia's border guards had already released the man.    

The girl's 27-year-old mother has custody of the child.