2020.04.24 17:45

Belarus shuns Lithuania's Covid-19 support offer

BNS 2020.04.24 17:45

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko did not "express a wish to receive assistance" to fight the coronavirus crisis, Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda said on Friday.

The Lithuanian president offered his Belarusian counterpart support in fighting Covid-19 during a phone call on Thursday, according to Nausėda's adviser.

Read more: Lithuanian and Belarusian leaders hold first call in a decade

"My goal was that if there are any ways to help the Belarusian side to deal with the coronavirus threat, we are ready to do that both through advice and other means," Nausėda said during a press conference on Friday.

"During the conversation, the [Belarusian] president just thanked for [the offer], but he did not express a specific wish to receive one or other type of support," he said, adding that Belarus' attitude to the pandemic has changed.

"In fact, I see that an attitude towards the coronavirus as a threat to public health is really felt and it's much stricter than it was some time ago. Certain measures are being taken, which the Belarusian president described. I have no reason to not to believe the statistics as I don’t have any alternative statistics on infections and their dynamic," Nausėda said.

Over 8,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Belarus so far and 60 people have died.

In early April, Lithuanian officials, including Nausėda, voiced their concern over the coronavirus situation in Belarus, saying that the neighbouring country could be "an uncontrolled hotspot" of the disease.

Lukashenko then said ironically that he saw no virus flying around as sports and other mass events continued to be held in the country. He also called on the Lithuanian leader to take care of his "own virus".

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

The Lithuanian government on Wednesday allocated humanitarian assistance of 100,000 euros to Eastern Partnership countries, including Armenia, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.