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Prime Minister: Lithuania could have lifted freeze on Belarusian businessman's accounts but didn't have to

Andrius Kubilius
BFL/Tomo Lukšio nuotr. / Andrius Kubilius
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania's Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius stated that, in line with EU law, the country could apply an exception clause and allow Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's fellow use frozen money for legal defense, adding that the country was not obligated to.

"EU regulations also envisage that a country may apply the exception but does not have to. Our institutions, the Foreign Ministry to be exact, decided not to apply the exception, that is the subject of the discussion and the clash," the prime minister told Žinių Radijas news radio on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Belarusian businessman Vladimir Peftiyev, who is linked to the Minsk regime and has been blacklisted by the EU, won a case at a Vilnius court, which instructed the Foreign Ministry to reconsider his request to let him use his own frozen money for payment for legal services provided by Vilnius law firm LAWIN.

The law firm represents the businessman in an EU court where Peftiyev has filed an appeal against EU restrictions against him and three of his companies.

The Foreign Ministry plans to appeal against the court ruling. The ministry said it refused to apply the exception based on a conclusion that the "cash intended for paying for legal services of the law firm has been acquired in an unauthorized manner."

The EU has banned entry of 243 individuals linked to the Belarusian regime, their bank accounts have also been frozen.

Naujienų agentūros BNS informaciją atgaminti visuomenės informavimo priemonėse bei interneto tinklalapiuose be raštiško UAB „BNS“ sutikimo draudžiama.
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