Kęstutis Girnius, an associate professor at the Institute of International Relations and Political Science (TSPMI), Vilnius University, considers that Lithuania has regained the time of heroes in Ukraine A. Radkevičius could give him pleasure.
At the time, Vytis TSPMI political scientist Vytis Jurkonis, a representative of the non-governmental organization Freedom House, said that participation in the fight against Russian-backed separatists could not be an indulgence for a crime of the past.
A document received by Ukrainian human rights defenders from BNS on Thursday shows that A. Radkevičius, convicted in the January 13 case, is a veteran of Ukraine’s war with Russian-backed separatists.
Ukrainian diplomats are required to investigate the case of A. Radkevičius objectively and impartially.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that it has no information about the convict’s January 13 case involvement in the conflict with the separatists.
Lithuania cannot back down
As K. Girnius, a political scientist at VU TSPMI, told BNS, the issue of A. Radkevičius’ extradition is very sensitive.
According to him, although Vilnius and Kiev maintained relations, this is friendly: in Lithuania he corresponds to a crime, and in Ukraine – as a patriot, he fought for the country’s freedom.
However, the political scientist believes that Lithuania must return to the country.
“Lithuania really cannot retreat, it must demand that it be returned to Lithuania. Otherwise, the case of January 13 would be compromised, “said K. Girnius.
He added that a retreat would pave the way for the Russian propaganda case to be called constructed and based on speculation.
According to K. Girnius, in order to avoid a political dispute with Ukraine, A. Radkevičius could be given mercy.
“If it is a man who is very important to Ukraine to maintain good bilateral relations, he could be given mercy. You send him to prison, and after two or three months you release him, saying that he has bought back his guilt, ”the political scientist said.
According to him, it is likely that this man will indeed be fit in a few decades.
“It may be the case that a man committed serious crimes in 1991, but regretted it, and when Russia invaded Ukraine, he sincerely went and fought for the integrity of Ukraine. This is one of the examples when a person can be both a devil and an angel, ”the political scientist considered.
Even if Lithuania does not consider granting grace, K. Girnius says that he does not think that Kiev would be determined to damage mutual relations with Vilnius.
“Lithuania has been living well with Ukraine for many years, Lithuania’s support is quite consistent and quite strong. Ukraine does not have enough friends to be angry about this issue, “said the political scientist.
“I think she may be able to explain the need to pay attention to this man, kindly to him and release him from prison, but only so much,” he added.
V. Jurkonis: patriotism does not absolve from responsibility
VU TSPMI political scientist V. Jurkonis claimed that the extradition of A. Radkevičius is not a convenient issue, but being a Ukrainian patriot does not release him from responsibility for previous crimes.
The political scientist also notes that he does not think that this issue could in any way affect the bilateral relations between Lithuania and Ukraine.
“I do not think that this situation is dramatic and could affect bilateral relations between Ukraine and Lithuania. The case of January 13 is a very important issue for Lithuania, there is no “love-not love” or “patriot-not patriot” situation here, “V. Jurkonis told BNS.
According to him, the crucial question is whether convicted of the January 13 crime.
“It makes no difference whether it is (Vladimir) Uschopchik, (Mikhail) Golovatov or Radkevich. This is not a convenient question, but being a veteran does not absolve one from responsibility in Ukraine or Lithuania. It would be very strange if being a Ukrainian patriot relieved you of responsibility, “said V. Jurkonis.
To his knowledge, Lithuania and Ukraine are cooperating on this issue and “both sides understand that this is a legal issue, if we are, we claim to be rule of law”.
“Imagine if the position were changed due to this case, what would be the signal to Moscow and Minsk?” Said the political scientist.
“There is a decision that needs to be enforced. If there were any mistakes in the course of the process, Lithuania took it into account, but the very fact that a person is in opposition to the Kremlin’s aggression against Ukraine, I think there is no excuse for crimes committed in the past or after, “the political scientist summed up.
The punishment of A. Radkevičius is one of the lowest
On the night of January 13, 1991, 14 people were killed when Soviet troops stormed the Vilnius TV tower and the building of the Radio and Television Committee.
Lithuanian law enforcement states that A. Radkevičius guarantees war in the attack on the Press House, ensured the expansion of airborne units, and dangerously maneuvered the territory of the building and intimidated people.
The four-year prison sentence for A. Radkevičius is one of the lowest in the January 13 case. The court, imposing a sentence on him, took into account the fact that A. Radkevičius was 23 years old at the time of the crimes.
A total of 67 people were convicted in the January 13 case.
A. Radkevičius was among several convicts, this year I tried unsuccessfully to appeal the judgment of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Lithuania. The latter did not accept the complaint.
The Vilnius Regional Court issued a European Arrest Warrant against him in August, on the basis of which he was detained in Greece.
UAB “BNS” agrees to publish, quote or otherwise reproduce the information of the news agency BNS in the media and to be on the websites.