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Lithuania blacklists Russian officials over Ukraine pilot case

Lithuania on Tuesday said it had blacklisted dozens of Russian officials responsible for jailing a hunger-striking Ukrainian military pilot in a case that drew sharp condemnation from the West.



Vilnius: Lithuania on Tuesday said it had blacklisted dozens of Russian officials responsible for jailing a hunger-striking Ukrainian military pilot in a case that drew sharp condemnation from the West.

A Russian court last month sentenced Nadiya Savchenko to 22 years in prison over the killing of two Russian journalists in a mortar attack in eastern Ukraine in 2014.

The 34-year-old pilot denies any involvement in the death of the state television reporters and is continuing a hunger strike she began last week, refusing both food and water.

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said 46 judges, prosecutors, investigators and other officials were barred from entering the Baltic state -- an EU member -- for 10 years but refused to divulge any names, citing privacy law.

"An EU-wide list would be more effective," he told AFP, a month after Lithuania had urged the whole 28-member EU to introduce a "Savchenko blacklist".

"We hope our step will encourage a return to those discussions," Linkevicius said, admitting that so far "we do not have a common position".

A vocal advocate for stronger EU-Ukraine ties, Lithuania released its list a day after Savchenko`s lawyers warned that she risks developing a blood clot that could kill her.

Linkevicius added that the officials "directly involved" in sentencing Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and activist Alexander Kolchenko -- who were found guilty of terrorism last year -- were also included on the Lithuanian list.

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From Zee News

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