Lithuanian flag. File photo/ AFP
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda on Friday pardoned two Russians jailed by Vilnius for espionage, an official statement said, paving the way for a possible spy swap with Moscow.
Nauseda signed the decree to pardon Nikolai Filipchenko and Sergei Moisejenko who are serving prison terms for espionage in the Baltic EU and NATO state, according to the statement published on his official website.
Both Russians were sentenced by Lithuanian courts in 2017. They could be exchanged for two Lithuanian citizens, Yevgeny Mataitis and Aristidas Tamosaitis, convicted of spying in Russia in 2016, the Baltic News Service said.
A Norwegian, Frode Berg, convicted of spying and jailed in Russia could also be part of the swap, BNS said, quoting senior officials who requested anonymity.
Nauseda’s decree said the Russians were pardoned in line with a new law on spy swaps.
Presidential spokesman Antanas Bubnelis declined further comment when contacted by AFP on Friday.
Lithuanian officials said Filipchenko worked for the FSB Russian federal security service and was trying to recruit senior officials in the Baltic state, which was under Moscow’s thumb during the Soviet era.
He was sentenced to 10 years behind bars and did not appeal.
Moisejenko was jailed for 10 years and six months after a Vilnius court ruled he recruited a Lithuanian army captain who served at the country’s Siauliai military air base. He had pleaded innocent.
The two Lithuanians were sentenced in Russia in 2016 for allegedly sharing Russian military intelligence with Lithuania.
The idea of creating pleasant public spaces might not seem ground-breaking but it is only just taking root in Soviet-planned cities like Belgorod, some 600 kilometres (370 miles) south of Moscow.
Gevorg brushes mascara onto his already long, dark lashes before dabbing highlighter above his cheekbones and checking the results in a mirror of a central Moscow salon.
The three sisters, now aged 18, 19 and 20-years-old, were repeatedly beaten by their father Mikhail and sexually abused. Court papers show their father kept a stockpile of knives, guns and rifles at home, despite having been diagnosed with a neurological disorder. He also repeatedly threatened neighbours and family with violence.
The special aircraft used for this flypast was wearing the livery dedicated to the milestone 50th staging of the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens.
The accused were killed when they allegedly tried to escape from the crime scene where the police had brought them to re-enact the incident.
Dozens of trains, metros and flights were cancelled, many schools were again closed or offering only daycare, and four of the country's eight oil refineries remained blocked, raising the prospect of fuel shortages.