Lithuania Closes Two Belarus Border Crossings

Wednesday, 16 August 2023

The Lithuanian government has decided to temporarily close two out of six Belarus border crossings from August 18.

As reported by LRT, on Wednesday, the government made the decision to temporarily close the crossing points near the towns of Šumskas and Tverečius from August 18. Currently, these crossing points are mainly used by passenger vehicles and empty cargo trucks.

Earlier, the head of the Customs Department, Darius Žvironas, stated that the closure of these crossings will not impact the movement of goods across the border with Belarus.

Lithuania's President Gitanas Nausėda had previously suggested that Lithuania and its neighbours might close the border with Belarus if the security situation becomes too tense.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė noted that closing more than two border crossings with Belarus without coordination with neighbouring countries could have negative consequences for them. Therefore, if such a decision is considered, it's important to act in a coordinated manner.

Previously, Latvia cancelled leave for border guards due to the threat from Belarus.

Poland announced that it will increase the number of troops on the border with Belarus by several thousand in order to deter the aggressor from attacking the country, bringing the total number of troops to about 10,000.

Poland and the Baltic countries are concerned about the situation on the border after hundreds of Wagner private military contractors arrived in Belarus last month at the invitation of self-proclaimed President Alexander Lukashenko.

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