“In the context of the annexation of Crimea, we have become witnesses of Russian artists becoming the mouthpiece and defenders of the Kremlin’s policy. The same artists keep coming to Lithuania and with their works, that very often make allusions to pride in the Soviet Union, send a certain message that justifies the Kremlin’s propaganda,” says Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, the leader of the young conservatives.
The young conservatives welcome the decision made by the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ban such artists from travelling to Latvia and call on Lithuanian officials to follow the example set by the neighbouring country.
The appeal is addressed to Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, Parliament Speaker Loreta Graužinienė and Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius.
Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs Edgars Rinkevics has banned three popular Russian musicians – Oleg Gazmanov, Joseph Kobzon and Alla Perfilova, also known as Valeriya – from travelling to Latvia.
The three have been blacklisted for an indefinite period of time.
Rinkevics previously announced that he had decided to ban “apologists of Russian imperialism and aggression from attending “high society” events in Latvia”.
The ministry’s press secretary Karlis Eihenbaums told LETA that the minister’s decision was related to how Russia responded to Malaysia Airlines plane crash in East Ukraine last week.