Lithuania raised a great hue and cry all over Europe demanding sanctions against Belarus, but in the end these sanctions are going to backfire on Vilnius, political analyst Aleksandr Shpakovsky wrote in his Telegram channel, BelTA informs.
“Despite all the difficulties, until August last year, the Belarusian state pursued a rather pragmatic and, I would even say, a pro-Lithuanian policy. Lukashenko held back the rise of nationalists in Belarus who claimed the right to legacy of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and to Vilnius as ‘a historically Belarusian city'. Belarus used the Port of Klaipeda to ship its petroleum products and potash fertilizers, thus keeping the port and Lithuanian Railways busy. Belaruskali even invested in Lithuania, having bought 30% of the Klaipeda terminal. Minsk let the Lithuanian capital enter its market, the manufacturing industry, agriculture, the market of alcoholic beverages, trade. In other words, Lithuanian business got access not only to the market of Belarus, but also to the 180-million strong EAEU market,” the political analyst said.
Aleksandr Shpakovsky recalled that as soon as the BelNPP project saw the light of the day, Belarus invited Lithuania to jointly operate the plant, taking into account high electricity prices in the Baltic countries.
“Belarusian tourists kept Vilnius restaurants busy. They also accounted for a huge share of the passenger traffic of the Vilnius airport that was dubbed Minsk 3 airport. Belarusian border guards reliably shielded Lithuania from drug trafficking and migrants from Asia, Africa and the Middle East who tried to break through to Belarus and further to the EU across the open border with Russia. All this time, starting from 1994, Vilnius has been delusional with rare glimpses of good judgment. To its own detriment, Lithuania supported Belarusian nationalists against Lukashenko. I am sure these guys will show who they really are to Lithuanians. Instead of joint operation of the BelNPP, Lithuanians tried to get the facility shut down. As a result, the station is up and running, while Lithuania was left with nothing. Lithuania raised a great hue and cry all over Europe demanding sanctions against Belarus, but in the end these sanctions are going to backfire on Vilnius. This madness culminated with a hybrid aggression against the Belarusian state in 2020 when Lithuania tried to take center stage. As a result, Lithuania ended up facing transit reduction, a migration crisis and an almost complete paralysis of political contacts,” the expert said.