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07 June 2024, 15:24

Belarusian MFA condemns Lithuania's decision to restrict movement of personal use goods across border

MINSK, 7 June (BelTA) -  Belarus is gravely concerned over Lithuania’s decision to seize foodstuffs, medicines and other goods for personal use from citizens of Belarus, Lithuania and third countries as they enter the Republic of Lithuania. The new sanctions came into force on 3 June, reads the statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. 

“The arbitrariness taking place on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border is an indisputable evidence of the official Vilnius violating the fundamental human right to humane treatment,” the statement says. “It is quite obvious that citizens who spend twenty-four hours in queues to cross border artificially created by Lithuania have the legal right to carry foodstuffs and medicines for personal use.”

“These efforts to find sanctioned goods among personal use goods are frankly absurd,” the ministry said. “A clumsy attempt by the Lithuanian authorities, under pressure from public opinion, to somewhat mitigate these inhumane measures and allow the import of goods in opened packages does not change the essence of what is happening. This blatant fact eloquently emphasizes the original intention of the Lithuanian side to redirect the effect of sanctions on ordinary citizens of Belarus and residents of Lithuania itself, who enjoy the opportunity of visiting our country without visas.”

Belarus immediately sent a note regarding the restrictions imposed by the Lithuanian government on ordinary citizens, which predictably remained unanswered. 

The ministry stressed: “We intend to ask the EU authorities to assess the compliance of such steps by Vilnius with the EU customs legislation and European values, which we so often hear about. The Charge d'Affaires of Lithuania and the EU Delegation in Belarus were summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We call on the official Vilnius to abandon the shameful practice of humiliating ordinary people, including its own citizens, who have the right to freedom of movement in normal humane conditions,” the statement reads. 
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