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2019.09.17 12:30

Belarusian-Russian 'confederacy' will have negative implications for Lithuania – FM Linkevičius

BNS2019.09.17 12:30

New integration agreements between Minsk and Moscow will bring Russia closer to the Lithuanian border "with all the [negative] consequences," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius said on Tuesday. 

Linkevicius told the Žinių Radijas radio that we shouldn't draw conclusions based on Russian media reports about the deeper integration of Belarus and Russia.

"Actually, I agree with some political scientists who say that nobody can rule out the existence of some sort of secret protocols to the agreement," the minister said.

"Should any changes occur, Belarus' government will hardly be the initiator. What it means is that Russia is coming closer de jure and de facto with all the consequences this entails," he said. "We can hardly regard this as a very positive thing."

According to Linkevičius, Lithuania has repeatedly emphasized that Belarus is "very strongly integrated with Russia", which is clearly illustrated, among other things, by the joint defence systems of these countries and the cooperation of their security services.

Lithuania, therefore, will maintain "the principle of selective cooperation" with Belarus. Vilnius will continue to underline the risks posed by the Astravyets nuclear power plant, but will not rule out making certain concessions, for example, in talks on visa-free travel if it sees signs of progress, he added.

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