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EU nation explains how ex-Russian presidential candidate crossed border 

Russian citizens are heavily restricted from entering Lithuania

Prominent opposition figure and journalist Ksenia Sobchak was allowed to cross into Lithuania because she is not on the country’s blacklist of Russian public figures, the Baltic state’s foreign minister, Gabrielius Landsbergis, told journalists on Thursday. She entered the EU country as an Israeli citizen.   

The reality TV host and former presidential candidate left Russia and fled to Lithuania amid an extortion investigation against an employee of hers. Sobchak herself has also been named a suspect, RT reported, citing a source.  

Using her Israeli passport, Sobchak can legally stay in the EU for up to 90 days, Landsbergis explained.   

“There has never been a clear legal basis [to not let her in the country],” the foreign minister stressed. “But this does not mean that it cannot arise,” he added, noting that if such a basis does arise, a person can be put on the blacklist even after crossing the border.   

Such decisions are based on whether one’s “presence poses a threat to national security,” Landsbergis clarified, as cited by Lithuanian public broadcaster LRT.   

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Ksenia Sobchak.
Ex-Russian presidential candidate faces 15 years in extortion case – TASS

The Baltic state earlier imposed tough restrictions on Russian travelers, banning entry except for diplomatic or family reasons, and several others.  

Sobchak left Russia in the wake of the arrest on Wednesday of the commercial manager of her ‘Ostorozhno Media’ (Beware Media) group, Kirill Sukhanov. Sukhanov and Arian Romanovsky, the former editor-in-chief of Tatler Russia magazine, have been accused of extorting money from Sergey Chemezov, the head of Russian state-controlled technology conglomerate Rostec, the Russian news agency TASS reported, citing case files.  

According to TASS, prosecutors claim the two suspects had demanded money in exchange for guaranteeing that Chemezov would not receive critical coverage on the Telegram channel ‘Tushite svet’ (‘Lights out’) under their control, which specializes in celebrity gossip. 

Sobchak, who is reportedly a person of interest in the same investigation, categorically denied any involvement. On Thursday, she stated that she had never written messages on, or had any control over, any of the Telegram channels mentioned in the court papers. She previously expressed support for her employee and called the case against him an attack on “the last free newsroom” in Russia. The journalist had not informed the country’s law enforcement agencies on her second citizenship, sources told TASS.  

Russian journalist Tina Kandelaki has posted on her Telegram channel what she claims are images of Israeli documents issued in Ksenia Sobchak’s name.

Ksenia Sobchak is the daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, who served as the mayor of St. Petersburg in the 1990s and is considered President Vladimir Putin’s political mentor. She made a successful media career in Russia and became a recognizable figure in the liberal opposition. In 2018, she ran for president, scoring 1.7% of the vote.

https://ift.tt/uT0Rtj5 27, 2022 at 09:12PM
from RT – Daily news

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