Ojars Kalniņš, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Saeima, has expressed his regret regarding Austria’s decision to deny extradition to Lithuania of the former Commander of Soviet Special Forces Unit “Alpha”, Mikhail Golovatov, who orchestrated the bloody attack on defenders of Lithuanian independence at the Vilnius television tower in January 1991.
“I fully support Lithuania’s demand that Austria extradite Mikhail Golovatov, who has been charged with serious crimes. Austria’s decision to release this person who is held responsible for the death of defenders of Lithuanian independence in 1991 is, in my opinion, legally dubious and politically unjustifiable,” pointed out Kalniņš.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee stresses the fact that Austria has taken this controversial decision at a time when the Baltic States are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the restoration of their independence.
“It really saddens me that member states of the European Union obviously do not understand the events of that time and their crucial importance to three other EU member states – the Baltic States. Furthermore, what has transpired only serves to remind us once more that there is no common strategy for relations between the European Union and Russia. I hope that Austria will be able to explain the reasons behind its actions,” said Kalniņš.
Saeima Press Service