The editor of the Belarusian opposition Web site Charter 97, Natalya Radina, has asked for political asylum in Lithuania, Charter 97 quoted Radina as saying, reports RIA Novosti. Radina was detained on Dec. 19 in the aftermath of protests against elections which returned President Alexander Lukashenko to power for a fourth term. She was among dozens of opposition activists charged with organizing and taking part in the demonstrations, and spent over a month in jail. Radina said that she managed to leave Belarus with help from her friends. “After the presidential elections in 2010, the Web site Charter 97.org was registered in this country [Lithuania], my colleagues are there, and I can fully perform my editorial duties in Vilnius,” Radina said in her letter. After being released from a pretrial detention center in late January, Radina was obliged not to leave the Brest region, where she was officially registered as residing. The journalist, however, left for Moscow where she was granted refugee status, and then fled to Lithuania.
On Aug. 7, during an informal meeting of Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis and Governor of Kaliningrad Region Nikolai Tsukanov, who was visiting Lithuania, the key issues of cooperation were discussed, the Foreign Ministry said. At the meeting, Azubalis stressed that in view of the approaching new school year, it is important to ensure a smooth start to work for Lithuanian language teachers arriving from Lithuania to Kaliningrad, and resolve frequent border crossing and other practical issues. In issues of cultural cooperation, it was stated that both parties cooperate and coordinate actions in preparation for the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of Kristijonas Donelaitis’ birth and the 450th anniversary of Martynas Mazvydas’ death. On the planned construction of the nuclear power plant in Kaliningrad, Azubalis stressed that the Lithuanian people are extremely concerned about ensuring environment protection and nuclear safety of the project. The participants of the meeting coincided in opinion that the Declaration on Lithuanian-Russian Modernization Partnership and successful implementation of Cross-Border Cooperation Program will give an additional impetus for cooperation between Lithuania and Kaliningrad.