Lithuania bars popular Russian singer from entering country

AP News
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Posted: Aug 18, 2016 11:19 AM

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — Lithuanian border officials have denied entry to a popular Russian singer who was on the government's unwanted list.

The state border guard says Oleg Gazmanov arrived at Vilnius International Airport late Wednesday and was forced to spend a night in a hotel before he was put on a plane back to Russia.

The 65-year-old Gazmanov, who had a valid Schengen visa, is known for songs praising the Soviet Union and Russia's annexation of Crimea. He last held a concert in Lithuania in 2013 but has since been placed on the list of persona non grata.

Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius declined to give details Thursday except to say Gazmanov was on the list "for propaganda connected to Russian aggression in neighboring countries."

This year, Lithuania has denied entry to 2,700 people.