Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius says that Russia's accusations levied at the Ukrainian government of plotting acts of sabotage in Crimea are reminiscent of KGB methods when the victim is falsely accused of crimes which is used as a pretext for attack.

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Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Karolina Pansevič

"Such developments are worrying, because this is not the first time that such a model has been used, where accusations of acts of provocation are made to justify one's alleged response," Linkevičius told BNS on Thursday.

"There is anticipation of something about to happen. We have to be vigilant and have in mind that such methods have been used for decades," he said.

The Lithuanian minister spoke a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Ukraine of trying to carry out an incursion into Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.

The Ukrainian Defence Ministry dismissed the accusations as an attempt to justify relocation and aggressive actions of Russia's military units in the region.

Linkevičius drew attention to Putin's words that it looked pointless to hold talks at the so-called Normandy format, which involves Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany.

"If the Normandy format is suspended, it will be another challenge," the Lithuanian minister said.

He said that there had been movements of Russian military equipment in Crimea before Moscow's statements.

Moscow used false accusations of acts of anti-Soviet provocation and abductions of soldiers as a pretext for the occupation of Lithuania back in 1940, Linkevičius noted.

"The methods are as old as KGB handbooks. The parallels are glaring. In this case, is it worth asking the question of who benefits from this? Carrying out such acts of provocation brings no benefit to Ukraine," he said.

BNS
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