VILNIUS (QHA) -

The President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė  awarded the Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people Ilmi Umerov with the Knight's Cross of the Order for Merit to Lithuania. The solemn event was held in the Presidential Palace, during the visit of Ilmi Umerov to Lithuania, according to the information on Facebook page of the Deputy Chairman.

 “On July 6, President Dalia Grybauskaitė gave me a high award - Order for Merit to Lithuania. Award for events of 28 years ago. Then, in the spring of 1990, in response to Lithuania's withdrawal from the USSR and the proclamation of independence, the so-called economic blockade of Lithuania was organized. Crimean Tatars, struggling to return to their homeland from deportation, despite the huge social and domestic problems (most people did not have housing, lived in tents and dugouts) decided to provide humanitarian assistance to the Lithuanian people. And I headed a delegation that delivered the collected cargo to Vilnius," he wrote.

Ilmi Umerov expressed gratitude to Lithuania for the support of the Crimean Tatars.

“Separately, I would like to note the great and very productive work of our Ukrainian embassy in Lithuania - Ambassador Volodymyr Yatsenkivsky and his excellent team, as well as the representative of the Mejlis in Lithuania, Professor Adas Jakubauskas. They are in constant and close contact with the Lithuanian authorities, regularly and promptly inform them about the events in Ukraine and the Crimea, about Ukrainian political prisoners in Russia.”

The Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis recalled the support of Ukraine from Grybauskaitė.

“Unlike some leaders of states who consider themselves "pragmatists", the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė uncompromisingly takes pro-Ukrainian position. MPs, members of the government and many experts help the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people in the drafting of legal documents.”

During his visit to Lithuania, Ilmi Umerov discussed with diplomats and politicians measures for de-occupation of the Crimea, as well as the release of Ukrainian political prisoners.

“It was about the need to continue political, diplomatic and economic pressure on the Russian Federation.”

Earlier, during his visit to Turkey Ilmi Umerov stated the necessity to inform the world community about what is happening in the occupied Crimea. The Deputy Chairman of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar people stressed that if the situation on the annexed peninsula is not discussed, a possibility exists that the repression will continue "even more rudely, sharper and faster."

QHA