“Putin’s Nashi want to come to Lithuania”

August 6, 2007 at 10:22 pm 1 comment

Nashi posterA translation of an article by Sergejus Tichomirovas published in the Lithuanian daily ‘Respublika’ on August 1.

The Kremlin’s political project – the Nashi youth movement – is one of the most aggressive Russian youth organizations. Respublika has carried out an experiment that has shown that the organization, which is already active in Estonia, could begin activities in Lithuania.

Suitable environment

The power of the Russian economy, strengthened by the high price of oil, is growing, and this is boosting Russia’s political ambitions. The Kremlin is trying to achieve its goals in the Baltic countries not only through economic and information channels, but also by supporting local Russian political and public organizations.  [Passage omitted]

It is no secret that there are already several groups in Lithuania sponsored by the Russian Embassy in Vilnius or businessmen who have close links to the embassy. However, Nashi, which praises Vladimir Putin, could offer our local youth much more than just financial support. “If we come to an agreement about establishing a Nashi cell in Lithuania, we could help you with the organizational work. You could come to Moscow and receive all the necessary information and support,” the movement’s representatives from Moscow told Respublika.

Currently, Nashi does not have any cells in Lithuania. Moscow was positive about our proposal to establish a representation in Lithuania. “Send us an application from Lithuania. You will be contacted and will receive further instructions,” a representative from Nashi headquarters said. He added that it was very likely that Moscow would agree to establish a Nashi cell in Lithuania.  [Passage omitted on arguments that Nashi could start activities in Lithuania]

“Let us fight together against Estonia”

The events that took place in Tallinn and some other cities in Estonia in April, when the country turned into a battlefield for the Russian national minority and the Estonian police, showed that the Kremlin had managed to find an appropriate environment for its political movements.

When the unrest in Estonia started, a commissar [senior member] of the local Nashi cell, Mark Syrik, was detained. He did not deny his membership in the organization. Moscow gave an order to start an action to free Syrik, whom it portrayed as a political prisoner. The campaign was organized to increase tension among the Russians living in Estonia. One of the campaign’s leaders was Nashi member Maksim Abrachimov, who lives in Moscow. He admitted that Nashi organized all the work related to the campaign to free Syrik, but the movement acted under cover of a local initiative group.

When we (Respublika newspaper) called Abrachimov, we said we were a local initiative group and offered our help. He did not hide his excitement and asked us to call him in an hour or so. When we called him again, he said that he had planned what we could do in Lithuania. He proposed to coordinate the activities of our (fictitious) group and to provide us with all necessary support.

The chairman of the parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, Justinas Karosas, said the parliament and the Foreign Ministry would have reacted accordingly, if they believed that there was a danger to Lithuanian national security due to the activities of the Russia-backed Nashi. Karosas said we should not dramatize the situation and that we should assume a moderate attitude.

Source BBC Monitoring

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Entry filed under: Baltic States, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Politics, Russia.

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  • […] “Putin’s Nashi want to come to Lithuania”It is no secret that there are already several groups in Lithuania sponsored by the Russian Embassy in Vilnius or businessmen who have close links to the embassy. However, Nashi, which praises Vladimir Putin, could offer our local youth … […]

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