Putin halves Lithuania’s population in US interview

Vladimir Putin
AP/Scanpix

“I have looked through the recent statistics, today the population of this country is 1.4m people. Where are the people? More than half of the citizens have left the country. Can you imagine a situation when more than half of the Americans left the territory of the United States? It would be a catastrophe!” Putin said in the interview with CBS, which was published by the Kremlin on Tuesday.

“What does it mean? It means that the broken ties, first of all, in the economy, adversely affect all of us, including Russia. So, I am deeply convinced that we should abandon the phobias of the past, look forward into the future and, while acting on the basis of international law, establish good-neighborly and equal relations,” the Russian president said.

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The wrong figures on the size of Lithuania’s population were given to Putin by Kaliningrad Region Governor Nikolay Tsukanov during a media-covered conversation in July.

Based on figures from Lithuania’s statistics department, Statistics Lithuania, 2.9 million people live in Lithuania at the moment.

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