Attempts by Russian law enforcement institutions to ban activities of the Mejlis, or council, of Crimean Tatars is politically-motivated persecution, says Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Crimean Tatars
© AP/Scanpix

It is yet "another gross violation of political freedoms and human rights in illegally-annexed Crimea", the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

"It is an example of the Russian Federation's intimidation policy and attack against Crimean Tatars, aimed at suppressing the will of this nation to fight for its rights and resist the government brought in by the occupation and its policy of solidifying Crimea's annexation."

The ministry has reiterated that Lithuania does not recognize Crimea's annexation. "We deem this annexation and all institutions of the existing government and their actions illegal," the statement said.

The Republic of Crimea's prosecutor Natalia Poklonskaya has tuned to the Supreme Court of Russia, asking for the Mejlis, the self-governing body of Crimean Tatars, to be recognized as extremist organization and its activities to be banned.

Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014, sparking worldwide condemnation and leading to the European Union's decision to introduce sanctions against Moscow.

Tatars, who make up more than 12% of Crimea's population, are among the biggest critics of Moscow.

It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

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...