Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius says that Russia's decision to ban Mark Feigin, a lawyer and human rights defender who was to take part in an opposition event in Vilnius, from leaving the country appears to be "a political move".
Mark Feigin. Foto RIA Novosti
© RIA Novosti / "Infogra"

Organizers of the second Free Russia Forum have no doubt that it is a political move.

"The reason (cited by the authorities) is that he (Feigin) has not paid a tax. He himself says that he has documents proving that he owes nothing. It looks very much like a political move," Linkevičius told BNS.

Linkevičius, who is meeting with the forum's organizers on Friday, said that Feigin had planned up to the last minute to fly to Vilnius. The minister underlined that this was not the first time that human rights defenders and opposition activists had been hindered from going to the forum.

"We do not have all the facts, but we can assume that these reasons are more invented than real. In the past, there have also been cases (of obstacles being created), including for participants of the Free Russia Forum," Linkevičius said.

"Of course, we find the decision very regrettable and hope that the situation will be resolved in the near future. If this is a political case, legal arguments will hardly help," he added.

Feigin told the Russian news agency Interfax that the Russian Federal Bailiff Service had banned him from leaving the country because he was on the service's debtor database.

The lawyer was on the list of speakers at the Free Russian Forum, which is getting underway in Vilnius on Friday.

US court dismisses ex-Lithuanian judge's extradition appeal

A US court has dismissed an extradition appeal by Neringa Venckiene , a former Lithuanian judge and...

Survey: President tops popularity rating

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda tops the popularity rating in the country, according to the...

Lithuania joins group of countries condemning Beijing's treatment of Uighurs

Lithuania has joined a group of countries condemning China 's treatment of the Uighur ethnic...

Vilnius mayor: government not pulling out of stadium project

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius says Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis has assured him...

New chief of defense: I am a realist and don’t dream about things we cannot have

Lithuania's incoming chief of defense , Major General Valdemaras Rupsys , says he will seek to...