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29 March 2024, 11:25

Moldovan children’s choir trapped at Belarus’ border as EU countries refuse to let them in

MINSK, 29 March (BelTA) - Polish and Lithuanian border guards have been refusing to let in a bus carrying a children's choir from Moldova for almost two days already, BelTA has learned.

The children first performed in Poland and then traveled to Minsk. However, any attempts to return home to Moldova on the same bus have been unsuccessful. First Polish and then Lithuanian border guards denied passage, keeping the children at the border all night. Natalia Barabanshchikova, the head of the music group and the Rhapsody choir studio, who is currently staying with the children at the border, told about the situation in a recorded video.

“At first, we tried to cross the border to Poland in Brest. Poland did not let us in. There is some law, which nobody knows about in our country [in Moldova]. This law says that we cannot [cross the border] as transit passengers: since we are not a shuttle bus, we cannot leave Belarus. Our embassy advised us to go through Lithuania, saying that it was possible to cross the border there. The Lithuanian border guards did not let us in either. We cannot return to Moldova. We are guarded by people with weapons. Children want to go to the toilet. They do not let anyone out. Help us, just save our children,” the head of the group said.

Sources close to the ministry of foreign affairs told BelTA that Belarus is ready to provide its Moldovan partners with all possible and necessary assistance. The local authorities in Grodno Oblast as well as the general public are aware of the situation and are already working to provide assistance, and first of all hot meals, to the bus passengers.

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