President of Lithuania Gitanas Nauseda and his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda reacted to the statements of the Belarusian side on the closure of the borders. Nauseda noted that one should remember that borders can be closed on both sides, his press service reports.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has called Alexander Lukashenko’s recent threats to close the border “a provocation”, and warned of a “mirror” response, if such a decision is made, Delfi reports.
“I believe it’s a provocation without a specific basis. The authorities of some countries forget that there’s a mirror principle in international relations and borders can be closed on both sides,” said Nauseda on Friday.
Lithuania also invited Poland to joint the Baltic states’ sanctions for Lukashenko and officials of his regime to “demonstrate solidarity with the civil society of Belarus, which is subject to aggression and political reprisals.”
Polish President Andrzej Duda said that he is considering the introduction of national sanctions against Belarus. Both Lithuania and Poland will work together to make EU states urgently agree on sanctions against Belarus at the EU level.
“During the telephone conversation, the details of the action plan to support democracy in Belarus, as well as the need to consolidate the countries supporting this plan, were discussed,” the report says.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius described Lukashenko’s statements about border closer as an inadequate reaction.
“Such statements have already been made before – that tractor units will be sent to other ports, then it was clarified that it would happen if Russia offered the same terms, etc. I think now we need to wait too, to see what it means – closing borders for goods, for people or something else,” said the minister.
He warned that the economy of the neighbouring country is “on the brink of bankruptcy,” therefore, all such steps must be taken in a balanced and responsible manner, otherwise they will harm Belarus itself. Linkevicius was worried about the alleged deployment of the army to the borders.
“There were statements that half of the army was sent to guard the borders with the West, from out side, it seems that someone is threatening, someone is going to attack. This is a reaction of an inadequate person to the situation,” he said.
Belarusian opposition leader and ex-presidential leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya also commented on Alexander Lukashenko’s statements.
“Lukashenko has already frightened us with non-existent enemies, accused peaceful people of violence, and real patriots of betrayal of the Motherland. But what he said yesterday about border closure is a new level of disconnection from reality.
These are the words of a weak person from his imaginary world. Don’t listen or pay attention to what Lukashenko says. He has lost all credibility. All our neighbors are our friends. All Belarusians are one people,” she said in her Telegram channel.
On 18 September, Anton Bychkovsky, the official representative of the State Border Committee, said that “the security of the state border of Belarus has been enhanced and border control is carried out with the use of tactical reserves.”
He added that checkpoints carry out entry and exit clearance procedures within the capacity limits. Polish and Lithuanian border guards reported that cross-border traffic remains normal.