Reacting to media information that persons associated with ultra-nationalist organizations may be serving in the Lithuanian Armed Forces, the army’s commanders claim they will not tolerate radical views, racism, nationalism or views based discrimination, the National Defense Ministry said, reports ELTA. “Military service is incompatible with any participation in activities of ultra-nationalist organizations, doubtful reputation movements which instigate hate and are aimed against the state or its citizens,” said Acting Chief of Defense, Land Forces Commander Major General Jonas Vytautas Zukas. “I would like to emphasize that the Armed Forces are a part of society; more than 12,000 Lithuanian citizens are serving in the Armed Forces. Therefore, I cannot reject the possibility that even if the Armed Forces are executing strict selection, the problems of society cannot be avoided completely. The duty of us all is to not tolerate illegal activities,’ asserted Major General Zukas. National Defense Volunteer Forces are carrying out investigations on some soldiers who possibly could have participated in a March procession in Vilnius.
European Union (EU) Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding proposes to delegate an observer-representative of the European Commission (EC) to the bilateral Lithuanian and Austrian group on Mikhail Golovatov’s release case, reports ELTA. The Commissioner said that the Commission will not directly intervene in the investigation of the two countries, yet it wants to observe the activity of the working group. The Commission wants to evaluate all factors that might have triggered the situation, as they may be very important to the future protection of the EU citizens’ interests and might help to improve the union’s legal framework. “[Close cooperation of EU member states] is essential in seeking that mutual trust prevailed in Europe, based on the enforcement of freedom, security and justice principles,” Reding said. Lithuanian Minister of Justice Remigijus Simasius says Reding’s proposal shows that Europe is not indifferent to the issue, which brought in doubts about the strength of the EU fundamental values. In the minister’s view, it will also help to properly evaluate and prevent such cases in the future.