Lithuanian lawmakers on Thursday recognised Ukrainians expelled from their homes and forcefully deported to Russia by Moscow as exiles.
On Thursday (16 June), the Lithuanian Seimas unanimously passed a resolution on the abduction and illegal deportation of Ukrainians by the Russian Federation. The text condemns the expulsion by Russia of more than one million Ukrainian civilians from their homes and the forced deportations to the territories under Russia’s temporary control.
“The resolution also reminds us of the beginning of our mass deportations 81 years ago and brings the attention of the European Union to what is happening in Ukraine today. Not only war, killing of innocent civilians, but also deportations,” said Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, chairwoman of the Seimas Committee on European Affairs.
The resolution also highlights the 200,000 children who are among the people exiled, saying it violates the UN Convention on the rights of the child, as well as the Hague and Geneva Conventions.
“We cannot expect anything new from aggressive Russia, whether it was 80 years ago or today – the same crimes against humanity, deportations, policies and military aggression that lead an individual country, and perhaps entire regions, to possible famine and other goals,” Mikulėnienė said.
The resolution calls on other countries, the UN and the EU to use the principle of universal jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute those involved in supervising the deportation of Ukrainians, carrying out forced deportations, genocide and other war crimes.