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2020.09.16 10:19

Lithuania and Poland 'destabilise’ Belarus, says Minsk

LRT.lt2020.09.16 10:19

Poland and Lithuania have contributed to destablising the situation in Belarus, claimed a senior official at the Belarusian Defence Ministry, Oleg Voinov.

Activities aimed at “heightening tensions in the information space, and provoking mass unrest have strained the interstate relations,” the major general wrote in an op-ed, according to the Belarusian state news agency BelTa.

“The European Union in general and our closest neighbours Poland and Lithuania in particular have contributed to this destructive process,” wrote Voinov.

He singled out Poland’s financial support to independent Belarusian media. Several influential outlets, including Belsat TV and NEXTA, are based in Warsaw.

Read more: Revolution will be Telegrammed. Covert social media channels drive Belarus protests

Lithuanian officials, including Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius, have repeatedly claimed that Vilnius is not interfering in Belarus’ internal affairs.

“However, Lithuania has and will help people of Belarus whose safety is in danger,” Linkevičius said earlier in September.

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the opposition challenger to Alexander Lukashenko in the August 9 presidential election, arrived in Lithuania on August 11. She was faced with a “direct threat”, according to Linkevičius.

Meanwhile, over 200 permits to enter Lithuania under a “humanitarian exception” have been granted to Belarusian activists and citizens fleeing persecution.

Protests against Lukashenko, who declared he had won the election, have been ongoing in Belarus since August 9.

Read more: Russia and Belarus drill 'worrying' offensive operations, says Lithuanian military