Former Head of Russian Culture Center in Vilnius is declared a threat to Lithuanian national security

The court recognized 75-year-old Valentina Vatutina, former Head of Russian Culture Centre in Vilnius, as a person posing a threat to national security, therefore this Russian citizen was deprived of a residence permit in Lithuania and must leave its territory.

Russian Culture Centers are among the pillars of Russian propaganda in the cultural sphere, forwarding pro-Russian narratives in foreign countries. In the recent years, their main task was to diverge the attention from the full-scale aggressive Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Vatutina said Russian embassy officials assured her that she would not be left to fend for herself after her deportation.

At the beginning of February 2024, the Vilnius Chamber of the Regional Administrative Court approved the conclusions of the Migration Department and the State Security Service that the woman poses a threat to the country’s national security.

A panel of three judges stated that Vatutina is loyal to the Russian regime and the security forces of this country can use her as a potential target for recruitment.

According to the court, Vatutina can be used to collect information necessary for the conduct of operations by the security forces of a country hostile to Lithuania. Vatutina appealed this court decision to the Main Administrative Court of Lithuania.