About 50 people gathered outside the Russian Embassy in Vilnius at noon on Wednesday, calling for the release of Ukrainian military pilot Nadiya Savchenko, who is continuing her hunger strike in protest of the court's proceedings.
Nadiya Savchenko
© RIA/Scanpix

Carrying Ukrainian and Lithuanian flags, as well as slogans criticizing the Russian president, the picket participants chanted "Free Savchenko!".

Russia has accused Savchenko, 34, of correcting Ukrainian artillery fire during clashes with pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine in June of 2014. Two Russian journalists were killed in the exchange. If found guilty, Savchenko would face up to 23 years in prison.

Savchenko, who is held custody in the southern Russian city of Donetsk, pleaded not guilty. Savchenko denies all accusations and has refused to accept food and water after a court last Thursday adjourned its hearing where the defendant was to make her final statements.

One of the organizers of the protest in Vilnius, Conservative MP Mantas Adomėnas, said the Savchenko trial was an insult to law.

"This is a violation of international law and human rights, an insult to the concept of law when a soldier defending her country is on trial by the country she attacked," Adomenas told journalists.

His party fellow, diplomat Žygimantas Pavilionis, said the situation in Ukraine was similar to the 1991 January developments in Lithuania when the Soviets attempted to restore the Moscow influence by force.

Lithuania and four other countries have suggested that the European Union should make a so-called Nadiya Savchenko list, with sanctions for Russian officials who would be placed on the list for participating in Savchenko's persectuion.

Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius told BNS on Wednesday that "there should be certain consequences for the persons related to the fabricated case. A possibility of such list should be considered," said the minister.

According to him, the initiative is supported by ministers in of Sweden, Great Britain, Romania and Poland, who will shortly present the proposal to EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini.

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

Parliament board to hold emergency meeting on speaker's removal

The Board of the Lithuanian Seimas is set to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday night to discuss...

Over 50 MPs voice no-confidence in Seimas speaker

Fifty-three Lithuanian MPs have signed a document expressing no-confidence in Viktoras Pranckietis ,...

Lithuania drops to 23rd place on EU's Gender Equality Index

Lithuania fell to number 23 among the EU's 28 member states in the latest ranking by the European...

Karbauskis delegated to Seimas leadership

The ruling Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union has decided to delegate Ramunas Karbauskis , its...

Polish citizens in Lithuania backed opposition in election in Poland

Almost 1,000 Polish citizens cast their votes in the Polish parliament election in Lithuania on...