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Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in connection with Lithuania's restrictions on the carriage of goods for personal use across the border

07 June 2024


The Belarusian side expresses its gravest concern about the actions of Lithuanian customs officials in seizing foodstuffs, medicines and other goods for personal use from citizens of Belarus, Lithuania and third countries entering the Republic of Lithuania after the entry into force of the new sanctions restrictions on June 3.

The arbitrariness taking place on the Lithuanian-Belarusian border is an indisputable fact that official Vilnius has violated fundamental human rights to humane treatment. It is quite obvious that citizens who spend twenty-four hours in queues artificially created by the Lithuanian side have the legal right to carry foodstuffs and medicines for personal use.

The attempt to find some kind of violation of the sanctions restrictions here is frankly absurd. The clumsy decision 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, as well as residents of Lithuania itself, who enjoy the possibility of visa-free travel to our country.

The note sent immediately by the Belarusian side regarding the effect of the restrictions imposed by the Lithuanian government on ordinary citizens predictably remained unanswered.

We intend to appeal to the European structures with a demand to assess the compliance of such steps of 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 Foreign Ministry.

We call on 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 human conditions.

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