Lithuanian summons Russian diplomat over Navalny's death – ministry

  • 2024-02-19
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry on Monday summoned Russia's chargé d'affaires ad interim to express its protest over the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 

The ministry said in a statement sent to BNS that it voiced "strong protest" over the circumstances surrounding the opposition figure's death in an Arctic prison on February 16 and "emphasized that the full responsibility for Navalny's death lies with Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin regime". 

According to the ministry, it also demanded a comprehensive, independent international investigation into the circumstances of Navalny's death and called for his body to be handed over to his family immediately. 

The ministry also demanded the immediate release of all people detained in Russia recently while paying tribute to the Kremlin critic.

It also demanded the release of Yuri Dmitriev, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Ilya Yashin, Alexei Gorinov, Lilia Chanysheva, Ksenia Fadeeva, Aleksandra Skochilenko and Ivan Safronov, and other political prisoners.

A strong protest was also voiced to the Russian diplomat over Moscow's decision to organize presidential elections in Ukraine's temporarily occupied and illegally annexed territories on March 15-17.

Navalny, Russia's most prominent opposition leader and Putin's fiercest foe, died in prison on Friday.

The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service announced that Navalny, who was serving a 19-year prison sentence on "extremism" charges, felt unwell and lost consciousness after a walk.

The international community blames Moscow for his death.