VILNIUS (QHA) -

The Government of the Republic of Lithuania will never recognize Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula, and will seek to extend the sanctions against the Russian Federation up to the de-occupation of Crimea.

- Lithuania is steady in supporting the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine. We will never recognize the illegal occupation and annexation of Crimea that satrted two years ago. We will seek extension of the European and international sanctions against the Russian Federation as long as Russia does not step back from the illegally occupied territories, according to a statement by the Lithuania's Foreign Ministry issued due to the Day of Crimean Resistance against Russian Occupation.

Lithuania voiced concern over numerous violations of freedom and human rights, as well as the repressions against the Crimean Tatar people.

- We also voice our concern over the continuing and increasing human rights violations and reprisals against the media in the Ukrainian Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol, which followed the annexation of the territory, as well as repressions against the Crimean Tatars and restrictions on freedom of speech, said the Ministry.

February, 26 has been recognized the Day of Crimean Resistance against Russia’s occupation as this day the city of Simferopol hosted a rally against the separatist sentiments in Crimean Parliament, which led to occupation of the peninsula.

The Russian Federation occupied Crimea in February-March 2014 saying a falsified referendum on March, 16 showed that Crimean residents want to join Russia. The international community has not recognized the annexation. For Ukraine, Crimea remains the temporarily occupied territory.

Photo: Internet

QHA