The European Union's Ambassador to Russia Vygaudas Ušackas has called for an official Russian position on the public threats made on television by Duma member Vladimir Zhirinovsky "to redeem Vilnius and Klaipėda".
Vladimir Zhirinovsky
© RIA/Scanpix

Zhirinovsky, the leader of the Russian Liberal Democratic Party, made the threatening remarks in confrontational debate on the EU, Ukraine, Eastern Partnership and Russia that was broadcast after midnight on Russian TV on Wednesday. Ušackas was also present at the debate.

"After Zhirinovsky threatened the takeover of Vilnius and Klaipėda, I had to demand for the official position of Russia regarding respect for territorial integrity of my country," said Ušackas, a Lithuanian diplomat.

He emphasized that Maria Zakharova, deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Information and Press Department, said even during the broadcast that it was "Zhirinovsky's private opinion".

In Ušackas' words, Zhirinovsky's participation in the broadcast was announced a few hours before the broadcast.

"I immediately had second thoughts about participating in the clownery, which is often the case when he's attending. But I did it out of respect for the invitation from host Valery Fadeyev, as it took us 5-6 months to agree on it (...). Zhirinovsky had an exclusive status and possibilities to express himself – he started making various threats of 'redeeming Ukraine,' as well as 'Vilnius and Klaipėda, which do not belong to Lithuania'. This immediately triggered my reaction and indignation. I said I expected it to be different from the official position of Russia and President Vladimir Putin," the ambassador said in a telephone interview to BNS from Russia.

In his words, the broadcast has an viewership of millions and great influence on public opinion.

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

Two Lithuanians and Norwegian returned to Lithuania in spy swap with Russia

Two Lithuanians and a Norwegian were returned to Lithuania on Friday as part of a spy swap with...

Aviation bomb found and defused in Vilnius

An aviation bomb was found and later neutralized in the Zverynas area of Vilnius on Thursday night.

President pardons 2 Russian spies opening the way for swap with Moscow

President Gitanas Nauseda has granted pardons to two Russian citizens jailed in Lithuania for...

Skusevicius appointed ambassador to Canada

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Thursday appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Darius Skusevicius...

MPs reject President Nauseda's second veto

The Lithuanian parliament overrode on Thursday a presidential veto on its decision to add two road...