Lithuania’s president meets with British Prime Minister Theresa MayNovember 25, 2017
VIDEO: Chicago Lithuanians march in Thanksgiving Day paradeNovember 28, 2017
VILNIUS – Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite has signed the Magnitsky Act, which prohibits the entry of foreigners involved in large-scale corruption, money laundering or human rights violations, and will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
Grybauskaite was guided by the rule of law and respect of human rights, reads a press release from the president’s office on November 27.
“The rule of law and respect of human rights is an integral part of a legal society. Those who violate universally accepted human rights and liberties must know that they are unwanted in the democratic world.”
Grybauskaite said that in the first place from a legal state should be on the rights of its citizens. All other countries must know that in the democratic world should not violate generally accepted human rights, including the right to choose. The President added that Lithuania adopted the bill suggests that the country strongly disagrees with the violation of human rights, illegal money and failure to comply with the laws.
On November 16, the Lithuanian parliament unanimously supported the adoption of this bill.
Lithuania now becomes the fifth Western nation to adopt the Magnitsky Act — named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison in 2009 after uncovering an alleged government corruption scheme — after the United States, Canada, Britain and Estonia.
The country’s diplomats have already started consultations with partners over the list of officials to be barred from entering the country for five years, a spokeswoman for Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told AFP.
Opposition leader Gabrielius Landsbergis, who proposed the bill, submitted a list of 44 Russian citizens, including Russia’s top investigator Alexander Bastrykin and lawmaker Andrei Lugovoy.
Russia’s ambassador to Vilnius, Alexander Udaltsov, said Moscow would retaliate over the new law.
“We will have to respond to yet another unfriendly step by Lithuania and bar entry to Russia to a number of unwelcome individuals from this country,” he said, according to Interfax.
The Lithuanian bill was symbolically passed unanimously eight years to the day after the 37-year-old Magnitsky died in a Russian jail.
His supporters say he was unjustly imprisoned and intentionally left to die by officials who refused to provide appropriate medical care.