Lithuanian authorities warn citizens against entering Belarus. Warning signs have been put up at border crossings. “Don’t risk your safety – don’t travel to Belarus. You may not come back,” warns the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania discourages people staying in the country from leaving for Belarus. Red signs have been placed at border crossings to warn of potential threats. “Don’t risk your safety – don’t travel to Belarus. You may not come back. Traveling to Belarus threatens the life, health and safety of Lithuanian citizens, the signs say.
Lithuania. Warning boards on the border with Belarus
The first boards appeared at border crossings on Wednesday, August 9 – on the third anniversary of the fraudulent presidential elections in Belarus. On the same day, a press conference was held at the border control post in Medininkai, during which the deputy minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the deputy minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and representatives of the border guard and border control discussed the issue of risks related to traveling to Belarus.
“Residents are advised not to travel to the country (…) Lithuanian citizens may be unlawfully detained after being presented with fabricated charges,” the Foreign Ministry said. In an official communiqué, the Lithuanian authorities informed about the dangerous practices of the Belarusian border guard. “Travellers are questioned at border crossings. Using blackmail and psychological pressure, they force them to cooperate.
Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the activities of Lukashenko’s regime
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also informed that during interrogations, Belarusian guards confiscate travelers’ phones and computers, and then illegally download confidential data from them, such as private correspondence or contact lists. “Later on, they can use it not only against them, but also against their family members, relatives and friends.”
The authorities of the Republic of Lithuania also addressed the citizens who are staying in Belarus. They were advised to leave the country immediately. “In July 2021, the Lukashenko regime decided to limit Lithuania’s diplomatic representation in Belarus to a minimum (…) the capacity of the Lithuanian embassy to react quickly to all possible consular matters has decreased. In most cases, the possibilities to help Lithuanian citizens are limited due to the aggressive and illegal actions of the Belarusian authorities.
Warning boards have been put up at six border crossings, just before the checkpoints. The message has been translated into two languages - Lithuanian and English. The signs are to remind of the recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and alert people who have not previously been informed about the danger.