2021.09.17 15:05

Lithuanian MP's driver suspected of inadvertently crossing Belarus border

Andrius Balčiūnas, LRT.lt2021.09.17 15:05

The Belarusian State Border Committee (GPK) has said that a person illegally crossed the country's border from Lithuania. A Lithuanian MP says his driver could have inadvertently stepped over the mark.

The GPK published a video on Friday, showing the alleged border violation. The Belarusian agency notes that a Lithuanian officer is seen observing two other men approach the border, but does not react when one of them momentarily steps into the Belarusian territory.

The incident occurred on the Krakūnai–Geranainys checkpoint which is used by local traffic. At the moment, the checkpoint is closed.

Robertas Šarnickas, a Lithuanian parliament member and one of the people in the video, has told that his driver could have stepped the boundary between Lithuania and Belarus.

“I did not see it, maybe I was looking in another direction. [...] Perhaps he scraped some space or stepped with his foot while taking a photograph, I don't know,” he said.

Giedrius Mišutis, a spokesman for the State Border Guard Service (VSAT), said that the border makes a 90-degree turn at the checkpoint, which is located in the so-called Dieveniškės loop, and it might be more difficult to ascertain whether there was indeed a border violation.

“It is a very particular spot and, if you look from one side, the view on the border line might be different [than from the other side],” he said.

“We are now collecting evidence [...] to see if an inadvertent border violation really occurred,” he added.

The man has been summoned by VSAT as part of the investigation. An unintentional border violation carries a fine, Mišutis said.

Lithuania's border guard service, on its part, has previously published videos showing Belarusian officers crossing into the Lithuanian territory and pushing migrants over the border. Lithuania has handed a diplomatic note to Minsk about the incidents.

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