Lithuania and Ukraine to raise an issue regarding the release of illegally imprisoned Ukrainian citizens with international organizations
On 4 July in Vilnius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, the Foreign Vice-Minister Darius Skusevičius, and the Ukrainian Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova discussed Russian human rights abuses, namely the illegal imprisonment of Ukrainian citizens and opportunities to raise the issue with international organizations more actively.
"In international formats, Lithuania actively raises the issue regarding the human rights abuses in Russian-occupied Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and has called for the immediate release of Ukrainian citizens held by Russia, who were recognised as political prisoners, because they were persecuted for their position on Russian military aggression against Ukraine," said Lithuania‘s Foreign Vice-Minister Skusevičius.
The Lithuanian high-ranking officials and the Ukrainian Commissioner for Human Rights agreed that Lithuania, together with other countries, would seek to ensure that international organizations should react to Russian human rights violations seriously.
Denisova informed that, despite an agreement between the President of Russia and the President of Ukraine, she was not allowed to visit the Ukrainian citizen and well-known film director incarcerated in Russia – Oleg Sentsov – who had been on hunger strike. The Ukrainian Commissioner for Human Rights thanked Lithuania for its active position on Sentsov, especially a resolution "On Oleg Sentsov and other political prisoners" adopted by the Seimas (Parliament) of Lithuania on 27 June 2018.
During her visit to Lithuania, the Ukrainian Commissioner for Human Rights Lyudmila Denisova met with the Speaker of the Seimas of Lithuania, the Seimas Ombudsmen, and the President of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Lithuania.
Lithuania closely cooperates with Ukraine on human rights reforms, sharing its best practices in strengthening human rights institutions. The Seimas Ombudsmen's Office together with other Lithuanian organisations is implementing the EU Twinning project "Implementation of the best European practices with the aim of strengthening the institutional capacity of the Apparatus of the Ukrainian Parliament Commissioner for Human Rights to protect human rights and freedoms“. The project aims to develop skills of the staff of the Office of Ukraine's Ombudsman.