21:16 GMT +318 October 2019
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    Russlands President Vladimir Putin (File Photo).

    Moscow Decries 'Russia Without Putin' Conference as Meddling in Internal Affairs

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    VILNIUS (Sputnik) - The Russian Embassy to Lithuania on Friday denounced an upcoming conference in Vilnius, which will discuss prospects of Russia under a new leadership, as another act of the Baltic state’s interference in Russia's internal affairs.

    "We had to note that Vilnius persistently … continues openly interfering in Russia’s internal affairs, including through attempts to impact the path of our country’s future development," the embassy said in a published statement.

    The embassy recalled that it was only up to Russian citizens, without any tips from external powers, to determine the future of their country, including through presidential elections.

    "Fringe and unrealistic discussions, with the participation of Russian 'dissidents', will hardly impact the choice of our people," the embassy stressed.

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    The statement refers to an international conference, which is set to be hosted by Vilnius on August 22 and will focus on European and transatlantic stability. The annual event, led by former Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, will bring together politicians and experts from NATO countries, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, and representatives of Russian opposition. According to local media, the participants will discuss prospects of "Russia without [President Vladimir] Putin," the embassy noted.

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    Along with regular rhetoric on an alleged Russian threat, Vilnius often hosts gatherings of Russian non-parliamentary opposition. In April, for example, the country hosted the Free Russia Forum, a move which was similarly denounced by the Russian Embassy as an act of interference.

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    conference, NATO, Vladimir Putin, Baltic Region, Vilnius
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