The Lithuanian Migration Department decided last week not to extend the residence permit of Anton Treushnikov, an advisor to the council of a bank linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the department's director has confirmed to Laisvės TV.
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SMP Bank and its owners, Russian billionaire brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, are on the list of those subject to EU sanctions. A Rotenberg company is building a bridge to the Russia-occupied Crimea.

"No, he (Treushnikov) does not have Lithuania's residence permit today," Evelina Gudzinskaite, the director, told Laisves TV in an interview last Friday.

She said the decision had been taken on Friday.

According to Laisvės TV, Treushnikov had had Lithuania's residence permit for 11 years.

Gudzinskaitė defended her department's original decision to issue the residence permit to the bank's advisor,

"From the legal point of view, the fact that he knows someone or is someone's representative is not a sufficient reason to say that this is bad. We have to look at why this is bad, for whom it is bad and how much bad it is," she said.

The director said that she had heard that the bank was subject to the EU's sanctions, but added that "a bank is one thing and a private individual is another".

The Migration Department declines, on the grounds of personal data protection, to say on what basis the residence permit was granted to Treushnikov and then repeatedly extended.

Lithuanian Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas last week asked the ministry's Corruption Prevention and Internal Investigations Division to look into a possible leak of information from the Migration Department to third countries.

The ministry's announcement came a day after the Delfi.lt news site reported that restricted information had been sent to the Russian Constitutional Court's judges on the reasons why they were banned from coming to Lithuania for an international congress.

The ministry said that the probe would also look into allegations about "granting of asylum to persons listed as persona non grata," but gave no further details.

"We should take a principled stance on the situation. This is not the first or the second case when the Migration Department has to make public explanations over questionable decisions," Misiūnas said in a press release.

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