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Lithuanian Foreign Ministry welcomes Basketball Federation's response to swastika incident

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Eriko Ovčarenko / 15min nuotr. / Krepšinio rinktinė
Šaltinis: BNS
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Lithuania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday welcomed the Basketball Federation's reaction to an incident when the Lithuanian national men's basketball team's power forward Kšyštof Lavrinovič received a warning over a swastika he had drawn on his backpack at the airport in Kaunas, Lithuania's second largest city, as the national basketball team was leaving for Slovenia.

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemns actions of an anti-Semitic nature, inciting national hatred. It is important that the Lithuanian Basketball Federation immediately responded to the incident. Only through joined efforts of raising public awareness and sensitivity can we prevent incitement of hatred in our country," the ministry said in a statement.

The Lithuanian Basketball Federation warned Lavrinovič who apologized for the incident.

"The Lithuanian Basketball Federation speaks up against any expression of anti-Semitism, national or any other discrimination and regrets and apologizes for the incident. All members of the Lithuanian national team follow the universal principles of human and sports ethics, with one of the most important of them being respect for people of all nationalities and religions," the federation said in a statement.

"I respect people of all nationalities and religions. I did not want to offend anyone. I am very sorry and apologize for my reckless action," Lavrinovič was quoted as saying in the statement.

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