"I apologize (...) sincerely, that my words, though perhaps too rude or used not carefully enough, but taken out of context, caused misunderstanding, grief and uproar," Uspaskich said in a letter seen BNS.

The leader of the Lithuanain Lawbor Party assured his colleagues in Renew Europe "that in the future, I will do my outmost to formulate my speeches more carefully"

In his two-page letter, written in English, the Russian-born politician said he himswelf was often the target of "insults, obscene and perverted remarks" in Lithaania because of his Russian origins.

Threat to expel

Uspaskich wrote the letter several days after Dacian Ciolos, the head of the Renew group, demanded an explanation and apology from him and some fellow larmakers called for him to be expelled from the group.

“I will give you the opporunity to explain your behavior (...) , but I must insist that you take back these despicable homophobic remarks and apologize to both the public and to your colleagues in Renew Europe for the hurt you have inflicted," Ciolos said in his letter seen by BNS.

"I expect this from you no later than Thursday January 14 at noon," he said, adding that the group's members would decide next Monday "if your explanation and apology is sufficient to allow you to remain" in the goup

Ciolos wrote to Uspaskich in reponse to the Lithuanian politician's live Facebook video published last Sunday where he spoke despicably about LGBT people, calling them "perverts".

"Those who put their dick under a skirt and go into the street and shout, they are (...) perverts, and such things must not be tolerated," he said.

'Sincere regret'

In his letter, Uspaskich insisted that his remarks that caused outrage were only aimed at those who insulted him, not the LGBT community as a whole.

"The harsh reply you saw in my Facebook account was solely aimed at people insulting me, rather than someone else," the MEP wrote.

"In this context, I did not have in mind or referred to gay, lesbian or other people of LGBT community. I specifically pointed out that I am not referring to people who are naturally given a different orientation by nature, and I speak of those who scream loudly and lead a perverted way of life."

Uspaskich said the transcript of the video might give one a false impression.

"My expression requires listening to a live conversation, not a transcript. Because in writing, it is possible to correctly express one’s thoughts even with a lack of language knowledge, one can always correct himself. While live speech, can contain errors, inaccurately arranged sentences, but most importantly in Lithuanian language, much can be said with the help of intonation and non-verbal communication, which would not be reflected in the transcript."

"Honestly, I am not a specialist in this terminology; perhaps the word, which was used, was not entirely precise and too rude. I sincerely regret that the information was presented to you, my group colleagues, and in media, in a such biased way to cause me personal harm, and that it also did damage to our European group and party."