The meting took place three weeks after Ukraine’s security services staged the murder of the Kremlin’s critic to protect him from real assassination.
“He’s now in a very restricted situation and his life is very constrained. As far as I understand, it was the first time he was able to get out, Linkevičius told BNS Lithuania by phone from Kiev. “He seemed very strong to me.”
The next day after his supposed murder on May 29, Babchenko appeared alive at a press conference held by Ukraine’s security service (SBU). Officials said then the staging was necessary to protect Babchenko and foil Moscow’s real assassination plan.
According to Linkevičius, Babchenko has no doubt that Russia was behind the assassination plot.
Calling Ukraine’s special services and Babchenko’s action an incomprehensible special operation in late May, Linkevičius now refrains from comments: “I just don’t want to further discuss it as it’s a transitional situation between the wish to carry out some operative measures and that scope in which all of that took place.”
During his visit, Linkevičius met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Oleksandr Turchynov, secretary of the National Security and Defense Council, as well as with lawmaker Yulia Tymoshenko and Kiev Mayor Vitali Klitschko.
The Lithuanian minister stated the fact that Ukraine is carrying out reforms and is also forced to fight Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country. Ukraine’s government forces have been fighting and Moscow-backed separatists since the spring of 2014. The conflict was already taken over 10,000 lives.