Procedure : 2019/2938(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0186/2019

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 28/11/2019 - 8.10
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


PDF 141kWORD 45k


<TitreSuite>to wind up the debate on the statements by the Council and the Commission</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on recent actions by the Russian Federation against Lithuanian judges, prosecutors and investigators involved in investigating the tragic events of 13 January 1991 in Vilnius</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Petras Auštrevičius, Abir Al‑Sahlani, Malik Azmani, Phil Bennion, Gilles Boyer, Jane Brophy, Sylvie Brunet, Jordi Cañas, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Anna Júlia Donáth, Fredrick Federley, Barbara Ann Gibson, Klemen Grošelj, Christophe Grudler, Antony Hook, Ivars Ijabs, Ondřej Kovařík, Nathalie Loiseau, Jan‑Christoph Oetjen, Urmas Paet, Michal Šimečka, Susana Solís Pérez, Ramona Strugariu, Marie‑Pierre Vedrenne</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0182/2019


European Parliament resolution on recent actions by the Russian Federation against Lithuanian judges, prosecutors and investigators involved in investigating the tragic events of 13 January 1991 in Vilnius


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and on EU-Russia relations,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas on 27 March 2019 the Vilnius Regional Court issued a judgment in the so-called ‘13 January’ case, in which Dmitry Yazov, former defence minister of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Uskhopchik, the Soviet Army’s former Vilnius garrison commander, Mikhail Golovatov, former commander of the KGB’s special forces, and 64 Russian, Belarussian and Ukrainian citizens were found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their involvement in the Soviet aggression on 13 January 1991 in Vilnius; whereas these judgments are currently under appeal;

B. whereas all except two of the defendants, former Soviet officers Yuri Mel and Gennady Ivanov, were on trial in absentia; whereas the defendants received sentences of up to 14 years in prison; whereas the judgments delivered in spring 2019 concern the tragic events following the Lithuanian declaration of independence of 11 March 1990 and the Soviet attempts to force Lithuania to revoke its declaration of independence, which started with an economic blockade in autumn of 1990 and culminated in a brutal effort to overthrow the Lithuanian Government in January 1991;

C. whereas 14 civilians were killed in these events and over 800 were injured, mostly while peacefully trying to defend the Vilnius TV tower; whereas the suppressive actions of the Soviet Union security forces continued until the August Coup in Moscow of 23 August 1991;

D. whereas the Lithuanian efforts to investigate and bring to trial the suspect constituted a lengthy process and were obstructed by the refusal of Russian and Belarussian authorities to cooperate, as they either ignored or denied requests from Lithuania for legal assistance, with the last partially answered request dating back to 2008;

E. whereas the initial Russian reaction to the court ruling was negative, with the Russian State Duma claiming that the trial was ‘politically motivated’ and ‘an attempt to rewrite history’, and with the Russian Foreign Ministry announcing ‘not to leave it without further reactions’;

F. whereas between July 2018 and April 2019 the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation initiated several criminal proceedings against Lithuanian judges, prosecutors, and investigators involved in investigating or ruling on the 13 January case, based on Articles 299 and 305 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which provides for criminal liability for ‘knowingly bringing an innocent person to criminal responsibility’ and for the ‘delivery by a judge (judges) of a knowingly unjust judgment, decision or any other juridical act’;

1. Notes that the actions of the authorities of the Russian Federation with respect to Lithuanian judges and prosecutors violate fundamental legal values, namely the independence of officers of the courts and the prosecutor’s office, as well as the principle that human rights and freedoms may only be restricted lawfully for the purposes for which such restrictions are imposed by international law;

2. Expresses its solidarity with the Lithuanian officials and judges indicted by Russia in this case and with the efforts of the Lithuanian Government to draw attention to the case and to limit the harm and danger facing those wrongfully accused by the Russian authorities;

3. Calls on the Russian authorities to drop these charges and to refrain from seeking any international arrest warrants in this case, whether via Interpol or bilaterally; condemns the actions of the Russian authorities actions as illegal and at odds with the rule of law;

4. Calls on the Vice President / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and on the European External Action Service to ensure that these cases are fully known to all Member States and are brought up at the Foreign Affairs Council, and that the Russian authorities are made fully aware of the unity and solidarity of the European Union in this case, as in other related cases;

5. Expects all EU institutions and all Member States to raise this case in their exchanges with the Russian authorities;

6. Calls on the Commission for the Control of Interpol’s Files (CCF), in charge of preventing abusive arrest warrants of a political nature, to be alert to any international arrest warrant requested against the accused Lithuanian officials;

7. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the President, Government and State Duma of the Russian Federation, Europol and Interpol.


Last updated: 27 November 2019Legal notice - Privacy policy