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    EXPELLED DIPLOMATS TRUMP IN LITHUANIAN IMPEACHMENT: RUSSIAN SENATOR

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    MOSCOW, FEBRUARY 27 (RIA Novosti correspondent Maria Balynina) - Russian diplomats' expulsion from Lithuania might be tied in with its presidential impeachment prospects, holds Mikhail Margelov, foreign affairs committee head at the Federation Council, the Russian parliament's upper house.

    The controversy has sent many forces into mutual confrontation. Now they may be using Russian diplomats as trump card in domestic political disputes, he said to Novosti.

    That is no way to use Russo-Lithuanian relations, what with a constructive purport they lately acquired, he stressed.

    Lithuania is Russia's partner on the anti-terror coalition, and the only of the three post-Soviet Baltic countries to have ratified a Frontier Treaty with Russia. The two countries came to a positive settlement of an extremely involved issue concerning transits via the Kaliningrad Region, Russia's Baltic exclave.

    "We could think that the two countries had given up the Cold War idiom - but diplomat expulsion was a typical tool of the year when countries did not know how to talk to each other, and showed each other ostentatious gestures," remarked our interviewee.

    As Deputy Speaker of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mr. Margelov is determined to discuss the issue with Lithuanian delegates as the PACE Bureau holds a session in Paris, March 1. "As I see it, wisdom and reserve are far more efficient as tools of interstate relations," he said.

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