2020.04.22 18:14

Lithuanian, Belarusian presidents to discuss Covid-19 pandemic

BNS 2020.04.22 18:14

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda and his Belarusian counterpart, Alexander Lukashenko, will hold a call on Thursday to discuss measures to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and the EU's Eastern Partnership issues.

The Lithuanian and Belarusian leaders are also expected to speak about the Astravyets nuclear power plant and bilateral economic relations, Office of the Lithuanian President said on Wednesday.

Read more: Launch of Belarus’ nuclear plant near Lithuania delayed again

In early April, Lithuanian officials said the coronavirus situation in Belarus was a cause for concern. Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis also said the country could be "an uncontrolled hotspot" of the disease.

Belarusian President Lukashenko previously said that he could not see the virus flying anywhere, and suggested that "tractors" and work "in the fields" would heal everyone. He also told Nausėda to take care of "your virus".

Read more: Vilnius and Minsk in war of words over coronavirus handling

Weeks later, on April 13, Lukashenko backtracked on his words, saying it was a joke. Meanwhile Lithuania banned passenger cars from Belarus from entering the country as a response to Minsk's management of the health crisis.

EU's Eastern Partnership

The Lithuanian president is also planning to hold talks with all EU's Eastern Partnership countries, including Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan, according to the press release.

The European Commission said on March 31 it reallocated more than 140 million euros to help Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine in their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.