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Lithuania to close two border checkpoints with Belarus

Belarusian Lithuanian border
Belarusian and Lithuanian border mark poles are pictured near a four-meter-high fence on the Belarusian border in Druskininkai, Lithuania 4 November 2021. Credit: Reuters/Janis Laizans
Lithuania to close two border checkpoints with Belarus

Lithuania will close the Tverečius and Šumskas checkpoints on the country’s border with Belarus on 18 August, LRT reported.

The Lithuanian government made this decision on 16 September in response to the potential threats posed by the presence of Wagner mercenaries in Belarus.

The other four checkpoints – Medininkai, Lavoriškės, Raigardas, and Šalčininkai – remain open.

“According to the Transport Ministry’s resolution, the traffic from the two closed checkpoints will be redirected to Medininkai, the largest and the most technically equipped border checkpoint on Lithuania’s border with Belarus,” LRT said.

The decision to close the checkpoints is connected with the growing threats caused by the redeployment of some mercenaries of the Wagner Group to Belarus.

Wagner Group hires Belarusian recruits to fight in Poland, Lithuania – Ukraine’s National Resistance Center

On 3 August, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on the Polish side, discussing the relocation of Wagner mercenaries in Belarus.

“Some Wagner fighters are close to our border, having taken up positions in the Grodno region, which means that this situation is very convenient for provocations both on the Polish-Belarusian and Lithuanian-Belarusian borders,” Nausėda said.

During the meeting, Lithuanian President emphasized the need for precise action algorithms in case of crisis, including closing the border with Belarus.


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