Lithuanian Minister of the Interior Saulius Skvernelis says Lithuania must follow the law and not emotions when considering whether to allow entry for the Academic Ensemble of Song and Dance of the Russian Army named after Alexander Alexandrov.
© Reuters/Scanpix

Estonian news website for the Russian-speakers baltnews.ee reported in August that the ensemble would tour the capitals of the Baltic states on 6-10 December. The Alexander Ensemble, which is currently touring Central Europe, has sparked controversy for compositions glorifying the Red Army and the annexation of Crimea.

According to Skvernelis, representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and security agencies will have to decide whether to grant visas to members of the Russian ensemble, taking into account potential threats to national security and public order.

"A person not loving Lithuania, to put it mildly, or coming from a non-democratic country are not sufficient grounds for denying a visa," the minister told the radio Žinių Radijas.

According to the interior minister, the public should evaluate how concert organisers perceive citizenship, given current geopolitical situation.

The Alexandrov Ensemble is scheduled to begin its tour in Poland on 11 November.

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