15 September 2004 -- Lithuania yesterday refused Russia's request to shut down a pro-Chechen website, and the Vilnius-based Internet service provider refused to remove it as well.
The Kavkaz Center, founded in 1999, reports about events in Russia, Chechnya, and Muslim countries and supports the positions of separatists in Chechnya.
The Russian Foreign Ministry yesterday requested that Lithuania close the site (http://www.kavkazcenter.com), which is hosted by Vilnius-based Elneta service provider.
However, a Lithuanian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mindaugas Lasas, today said the site cannot be shut down without a court order.
Elneta said it cannot remove the site because it violates no law in Lithuania.
Earlier this month, the site published Chechen separatists' pledge to pay $20 million for any assistance leading to the capture of Russian President Vladimir Putin.