Lithuanian Seimas Proposes to Equate Russia's Aggression against Ukraine with Soviet and Nazi Crimes

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Six members of the Seimas [Lithuanian parliament – ed.] are proposing that Russia's actions in Ukraine should be assessed in the same way as the crimes of the USSR and the Nazis.

According to Lithuanian media outlet LRT, it has been offered by conservatives Paulius Saudargas, Valdas Ragutis, Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Audronius Ažubalis, Arvydas Pocius and Justinas Urbanavičius. 

They are proposing to add the word "Russia" to the article of the Lithuanian Criminal Code that provides for liability for public approval of international crimes, crimes of the USSR or Nazi Germany, for denying them or gross trivialisation.

"The aim of the draft law is to establish criminal liability [...] for individuals who publicly condone or deny or grossly trivialise [...] the aggression committed/being committed by Russia against the Republic of Ukraine and the occupation of its territory (including Crimea)," the statement reads.

Currently, public approval of international crimes, crimes of the USSR or Nazi Germany, denial of them or gross trivialisation is punishable by a fine, freedom restriction, arrest or imprisonment for up to two years.

"Although Russia’s aggression and occupation of Ukraine’s sovereign territory [...] does not constitute a direct crime against the Republic of Lithuania or its citizens, the consequences of this event for the country's national security are obvious."

Earlier, Lithuania decided to join a register being set up by the Council of Europe members on the damage caused by Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

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