ECHR rejects Russian singer Kirkorov's complaint about ban on entry into Lithuania

Thursday, 18 April 2024

On 18 April, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHP) dismissed the appeal of Russian musician Philip Kirkorov against the Lithuanian authorities' decision to ban him from entering the country.

The ECHR rejected as inadmissible the application of Russian musician Philip Kirkorov, who holds Russian and Bulgarian citizenship, against the Lithuanian authorities' decision in 2021 to ban him from entering Lithuania for national security considerations. This decision is final.

The court ruled that Lithuania's decision provided a legitimate basis for both national and European legislation.

"The Court found that the Lithuanian authorities’ assessment, which had been based on the applicant’s statements and behaviour, had not been arbitrary or without basis. In particular the applicant had openly stated that he supported Russia’s actions in the Crimean peninsula and referred to himself as Vladimir Putin’s ‘representative on stage’," the communiqué says.


The ECHR determined that the case file provided no basis to suspect that the Lithuanian courts, where Kirkorov contested the decision, made an incorrect assessment of the facts or were biassed in applying the law. The court agreed with the Lithuanian courts that the Russian singer's restriction on entry was not disproportionate, and it considered that his rights as a citizen of an EU member state (Bulgaria) are only partially restricted – the entry ban to Lithuania, with which he has no close ties.

The Court also highlighted that Kirkorov had not yet exhausted his right to sue in national courts for losses incurred as a result of cancelled concerts.

The court also considered the fact that both Lithuania's Seimas and the European Parliament recognise the importance of exposing Russian disinformation and propaganda.

After the start of Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine, Kirkorov was also banned from entering Estonia and Latvia.

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