Russian journalist says Lithuania gave him possibility to speak freely
Russian journalist Yevgeni Titov says he is happy to have received political asylum in Lithuania despite the lengthy procedures.
The Russian, who had waited for the Migration Department's decision for around two years, today speaks almost fluent Lithuanian.
Titov currently works for the news website Delfi.lt and the online TV station Laisves TV, and writes a book on journalism in Russia.
"What I received here is not only asylum," he told BNS on Wednesday. "Two years ago, it became possible for me to speak freely about what is happening in Russia."
The Migration Department earlier in the day informed the man about its decision to grant him political asylum.
The authority had rejected his application in February 2017, saying that his fears were objectively unsubstantiated.
The Lithuanian Supreme Administrative Court last October told the department to reconsider the Russian's application for asylum.
"That was a little bit of my fault. I didn't know the laws well. I didn't give them all the circumstances. I'm more of an artist than a lawyer," Titov told BNS.
"I'm very happy today, because it's really hard to go through that," he added.
The Russian thanked Lithuanian journalists and non-governmental organizations for their support.
"It would have been absolutely impossible without them, without public support," he said.
Titov said that he provided information about his persecution by Russian officials in his renewed application to the Migration Department.
The journalist said when came to Lithuania in 2016 that he had been followed in Russia and received indirect threats over his activities.
Dmitry Buchenkov, a Russian scientist and political activist, was granted political asylum in Lithuania several weeks ago.
More than 30 Russians have received political asylum in Lithuania since 2014.