While the Lithuanian president is speaking about the freedom of speech, there is a witch hunt going on in the country against Russian-language print media, searching for alleged state enemies.
The main purpose of anti-Russian sanctions is to prevent the re-election of Putin as a president of Russia in 2018.
All EU sanctions against Russia were imposed after major illegal actions by the Russian Federation, or against persons that have directly threatened the territorial integrity of Ukraine.
The first round of EU sanctions against Russia was introduced on 17 March 2014. The first bans and asset freezes against persons involved in actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity followed Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea.
Later, in view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions in July 2014 and reinforced them in September 2014.
In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of those economic restrictions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. The EU remains ready to reverse its decisions and reengage with Russia when it starts contributing actively and without ambiguities to finding a solution to the crisis.