Russia Bans Lithuanian Dairy Amid Eu Tensions

3, all the employees of the Russian Embassy and their family members safely crossed the border with Tunisia, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in an official statement. Until the security issues related to the work of our mission in Tripoli are resolved, a group of senior diplomats of the Russian Embassy in Libya will temporarily remain in Tunisia. Lukashevich said the others will be flown to Moscow on Friday. He urged Russian citizens to avoid travel to Libya, a volatile country that, for decades, has been a Soviet and Russian ally in the Middle East. No Russian personnel were hurt when a group of gunmen attacked the embassy Wednesday night with hand grenades and machine guns. An embassy car was burned and some property damaged before embassy guards and Libyan security forces repelled the attack. One of the assailants was killed and four were injured, the Russia-24 television news network reported. According to Lukashevich, the attack was provoked by the killing of a Libyan air force officer by a Russian citizen, identified as Yekaterina Ustyuzhaninova, who also injured the officer’s mother with a knife. Ustyuzhaninova remains in custody in Libya, he added. The incident provoked relatives and friends of the slain Libyan to decide to avenge his death by attacking the Russian diplomatic mission, Lukashevich said. The armed attackers succeeded in breaking through into the embassy grounds, but the personnel and their family members hid in the protected premises. In a telephone conversation with his Libyan counterpart, Mohammed Abdel-Aziz, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov demanded that Libya take action as soon as possible to ensure the safe operation of the embassy, Lukashevich said. It was not the first violent incident involving diplomatic missions in post-Kaddafi Libya. The Russian Embassy was attacked in February 2012 by an armed mob protesting Russia’s U.N. Security Council veto of sanctions against the government of neighboring Syria. And U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens was killed in an attack by radical Islamists on the U.S.

Mob attacks Russian Embassy in Tripoli; revenge suspected

Since early last month, Russian officials have rounded up the workers for alleged violations of migration or employment rules, the New York-based human rights group said today in an e-mailed statement. Many have been kept in arbitrary and inhuman conditions and some expelled from Russia, it said. Its outrageous for the migrant workers who helped to build Sochis shiny new Olympic venues to be herded into detention and deported, said Jane Buchanan, associate director for Europe and Central Asia. Ilya Djous, a spokesman for Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, whos in charge of Olympic preparations, said by phone that there havent been any mass violations of labor or migration rules. Russia stages the competition in February and has spent about $50 billion, making these the most expensive Winter Games . The project has included road building and a train service to connect the coastal hub to be used for the opening ceremony and ice skating events and the mountains that will host the skiing and downhill competitions. Construction workers are being exploited and cheated out of their wages, Human Rights Watch said in February. Some employers demanded 12-hour shifts with few days off, withheld passports and work permits and refused to pay promised salaries, the group said. President Vladimir Putin has sought to attract large international events, including the 2018 soccer World Cup and last years Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. To contact the reporters on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at ; Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at More News:

Russia Rounds Up Sochi Games Migrant Workers, Rights Group Says

Lithuania has used its status as holder of the EU’s rotating presidency to draw attention to arduous customs checks that Moscow has imposed on Eastern European countries now seeking closer relations with Brussels. Ukraine hopes to sign a landmark association and free trade accord with the European Union during a November summit in Vilnius. Russia has responded by imposing detailed customs inspections on Ukrainian products over the summer and spreading those to Lithuanian goods three weeks ago. The trade row prompted Lithuania to warn Moscow this month that it risked souring ties with the 28-nation bloc if such checks continued. Lithuania also pointed out that it could — but would not — impose the same sanctions on goods travelling over its territory to and from Russia’s western exclave of Kaliningrad. The veiled warning outraged Russian officials, who on Saturday vowed to ban some Lithuanian dairy imports effective Monday. “There is every likelihood that Russia will begin limiting the admission of individual groups of dairy products on October 7,” news agencies quoted Russia’s public health inspector Gennady Onishchenko as saying. “At the start of next week, we will launch a series of measures aimed at halting the admission… of Lithuanian products that do not meet Russian legal requirements aimed at protecting consumer rights.” ITAR-TASS said Russia has already imposed some import restrictions on Lithuania’s top cheese producer Pieno Zvaigzdes. Russia first warned it may ban Lithuanian dairy imports on Wednesday due to “sanitary and epidemiological risks”. Tests on Lithuanian food products had “yielded unsatisfactory results”, Onishchenko said at the time. The dairy industry, which is responsible for about one-fifth of Lithuania’s agricultural production, is a vital source of export revenue.