The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has dismissed a complaint filed by Russian pop star Philipp Kirkorov against Lithuania's decision to bar his entry into the country.

In a press release issued on Thursday, the Strasbourg-based court declared Kirkorov's application "inadmissible." It concluded that the Lithuanian authorities' assessment, rooted in Kirkorov's statements and conduct, was neither arbitrary nor unfounded.

The ECtHR referenced Kirkorov's frequent concerts in Crimea, interpreting them as support for Russia's aggressive policies, as well as his self-identification as Vladimir Putin's "representative on stage." Consequently, the court deemed the entry ban justified in light of national and public policy interests, as well as Kirkorov's actions.

Lithuania's Supreme Administrative Court (LVAT) had previously upheld the entry ban in 2021, citing Kirkorov's actions as a threat to national security. The decision to blacklist Kirkorov came in January 2021 at the request of the Foreign Ministry. Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis asserted that Kirkorov's visits to Crimea, annexed by Russia, amounted to a denial of Ukraine's territorial integrity and indirectly supported Russian aggression.

Kirkorov holds citizenship in both Bulgaria and Russia. Photo by Adrian Grycuk, Wikimedia commons.