13:32 GMT16 July 2020
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    Vilnius saw "a possible threat to national security" in a crew of Russian journalists.

    VILNIUS (Sputnik) – The Lithuanian authorities have placed a crew of the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) on the list of undesirable persons over "a possible threat to national security" and asked them to leave the country, the spokesman of the country’s state security department confirmed Thursday.

    "Pavel Zarubin and his crew were placed in the list of undesirable persons over possible threat to national security," Vytautas Makauskas told the Baltic News Service, adding that a total of four people were blacklisted.

    On Tuesday, the VGTRK crew was barred from attending the third annual Russian forum organized by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry in the Vilnius suburb of Trakai. Vilnius district police confirmed the same day that security guards prevented Zarubin and his crew from access to the forum, saying that police were contacted because "unaccredited journalists attempted to gain entrance to the event."

    VGTRK cited Lithuanian migration officials as saying they planned to deport Zarubin and crew on a first Vilnius-Moscow flight.

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    Tags:
    media freedom, reporters, VGTRK, Vytautas Makauskas, Russia, Lithuania
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