We must send clear message to Russia not to interfere in Belarus – Lithuanian formin
We must send clear message to Russia not to interfere in Belarus – Lithuanian formin

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius believes that a clear message must be sent to Russia so it would not interfere in processes that are taking place in Belarus.

"I see certain parallels with 1956 Budapest and 1968 Prague, when the military was invoked against societies rising up in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. It is no longer 1956 or 1968 but there are many analogies in the current process. Therefore, if Russia is considering this option, I believe it should be very clearly warned off that it would face consequences, too," Linkevičius said after a meeting with President Gitanas Nausėda.

The foreign minister emphasised that there was no legal or political reason for Russia to become involved, adding that NATO does not pose a threat and there was no escalation at the border, even though Alexander Lukashenko claimed otherwise.

Lukashenko spoke to President of Russia Vladimir Putin last weekend afterwards declaring that Russia would provide full assistance to ensure the security of Belarus in case of a military threat from abroad.

Speaking about sanctions, Minister Linkevičius said that the Belarusian government and "former president" were losing legitimacy not only from the moral but also from the legal standpoint, and this had to be reflected in the international arena.

Linkevičius reiterated that international sanctions were a priority, but, if necessary, Lithuania would impose national sanctions on Belarusian officials responsible for election fraud and the use of force against demonstrators.

The foreign minister stressed that EU sanctions would be more effective as they would involve freezing of assets and a ban on entry to the EU.

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