Lithuania closes two more border crossings with Belarus

Lithuania closes two more border crossings with Belarus

Feb 22, 2024

Riga [Latvia], February 22: Lithuania will close two more border crossings with neighbouring Belarus for security reasons, the government in Vilnius decided on Wednesday.
The checkpoints at Lavoriskes and Raigardas will close on March 1 until further notice. This means that only two of the six crossing points along the almost 680 kilometre-long border between Lithuania, a member of both the European Union and NATO, and its authoritarian neighbour Belarus will remain open.
Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said the move is intended to ensure better checks on the flow of goods, transport and people across the border and to curb attempts to import and export sanctioned goods and smuggling.
The government in Vilnius had previously closed the Sumskas and Tverecius crossings in the summer of 2023.
This means that only the Medininkai and Salcininkai checkpoints remain open, but pedestrians and cyclists will no longer be able to cross the border at these points.
Tensions on NATO's and the European Union's borders spiked after Belarus took in thousands of Russia's military mercenaries. It has also been accused of pushing Middle Eastern and African migrants into Europe, despite various forms of barriers having been put up.
Wednesday's decision was fueled "by the risks associated with the increased activities of the Belarusian intelligence and security services against Lithuania and our citizens," Lithuania's Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė told reporters.
Source: Qatar Tribune