Lithuanian president says Putin can be called a killer

  • 2021-03-30
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said on Monday that he could call Russian President Vladimir Putin a killer. 

"Unfortunately, yes," Nauseda said when asked by BNS if he, like US President Joe Biden, could call Putin a killer. 

Russia blatantly disrespects the territorial integrity of neighboring states, such as Ukraine, according to the Lithuanian president. 

"I see many signs of blatant disregard for the values of the civilized world, disregard for the right of nations to self-determination, disregard for the territorial integrity of their neighbors, which the Kremlin has been showing quite demonstratively lately," Nauseda said. 

Another important aspect is the situation inside Russia, where the regime is "clearly shivering in the face of mounting opposition", is trying to suppress it and is persecuting opposition leaders, such as Alexei Navalny, in the "most brutal way", according to the president.  

"And to keep saying with your head tucked into your shoulders that, you know, we're looking for engagement in relations with Russia – which is what I sometimes hear from my EU colleagues – means to be both emotionally and geographically very far from what is called Russia," he said. 

Lithuania will certainly not be a country that "will sit indifferently on the back bench" and speak about greater engagement, while seeing gross violations of human rights in its neighborhood, he added. 

Asked in mid-March if he thought that Putin was a killer, Biden responded: "Yes, I think he is". This and other remarks by the US president prompted Russia to recall its ambassador from Washington, an unprecedented move in the recent history of diplomatic relations between the two countries.