MP Valerijus Simulik, who is seeking reelection to the Lithuanian parliament with the Peasant and Greens Union, had been revealed to foster associations with a pro-Kremlin group, but claims to have cut the links after they were reported in the media.
Simulik, who is a member of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, has confirmed his cooperation with the Latvian Future Research Institute, which belongs to the international eurosceptic Alliance for Peace and Freedom.
“My wishes and objectives as a member of the parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, were simple: Cooperation, communication and educational activities – explaining Lithuania’s position towards Russia, as well as refugees and other issues,” Smulik is quoted by 15min.lt.
“This has been done in different formats at the meetings that took place in European Union countries. I responsibly declare that I, as a member of the Foreign Affairs Committe, have always held onto, supported and represented exclusively the official position of our state.”
He added, however, that reports on his cooperation with the pro-Kremlin organization could give rise to speculation, which is why he decided to distance himself from it.
Simulik explained that he chose to cooperate with the Alliance for Peace and Freedom in the first place because of a shared position on the refugee issue. When asked whether he was not disturbed by the organization’s eurosceptic and pro-Putin leanings, Simulik insisted that he never supported that line.