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HomeNewsLithuania closes two border crossings with Belarus amid rising tensions Get hold...

Lithuania closes two border crossings with Belarus amid rising tensions Get hold of US

Lithuania briefly shuts two of six checkpoints situated on shared 680km border with Belarus over safety considerations.

Lithuanian will briefly shut two of the nation’s six border crossings with Belarus resulting from what the federal government stated had been “geopolitical circumstances”, and as considerations develop within the area over the presence of hundreds of Russia’s Wagner Group mercenaries inside Belarusian territory.

Belarus, Russia’s staunchest ally, reacted promptly to the announcement on Wednesday, criticising what it referred to as Lithuania’s “far-fetched” resolution to shut two of its border checkpoints.

“This resolution is without doubt one of the preventive measures to include threats to nationwide safety and doable provocations on the border,” Lithuania’s Inside Minister Agne Bilotaite stated.

Bilotaite didn’t spell out the threats within the reasoning for closing the 2 rural border crossings from Friday, which weren’t utilized by business autos.

Over latest few weeks, Lithuania has discouraged its residents from travelling to Belarus, even organising indicators on the borders saying: “Don’t threat your security – don’t journey to Belarus. It’s possible you’ll fail to come back again”.

Lithuania has additionally cited the safety threat posed by the Wagner mercenary group, which has taken refuge in Belarus since their failed mutiny towards Russia’s army management in June.

Lithuania, which shares an almost 680-kilometre (422-mile) border with Belarus, declared its independence from the Soviet Union 33 years in the past.

A democracy and a member of NATO and the European Union, Lithuania has been a robust supporter of Ukraine in its struggle towards Russia and a spot of refuge lately for a lot of who’ve fled an authoritarian crackdown in neighbouring Belarus and elevated repression in Russia

The commander of Lithuania’s border guard company, Rustamas Liubajevas, estimated there could possibly be as much as 4,500 Wagner fighters in Belarus, with some stationed near the Lithuanian and Polish borders.

Wagner’s presence  in Belarus has sparked alarm amongst Minsk’s western and northern neighbours, together with Poland and Latvia.

Poland has stated it is going to bolster its jap border with 4,000 troops supporting the nationwide border company and one other 6,000 in reserve. Latvia has additionally elevated its safety presence on its borders with Belarus.

Bilotaite stated that Lithuania and Poland are additionally discussing the potential for fully closing their borders with Belarus. Talks on the topic will happen in Warsaw on the finish of the month, she stated, in keeping with the Baltic Information Service.

Authorities in Belarus chided the Lithuanian resolution on Wednesday.

“Lithuania, by taking such selections, purposefully and intentionally creates synthetic obstacles on the border to serve its political ambitions,” Belarus’s border drive stated on social media.

It stated the choice would trigger site visitors queues and result in lengthy waits on the border, calling the transfer an “unfriendly step” based mostly on “far-fetched causes”.

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