Lithuania Issues Protest Note to Belarus Over Provocative Statements
The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently delivered a protest note to Belarus in response to a threatening statement made by a senior Belarusian official. The statement in question was made by Pavel Muraveiko, the Deputy State Secretary of the Belarusian Security Council, and it was published in the “Večernyj Minsk” newspaper on October 24th.
In his statement, Muraveiko referred to Lithuania’s restrictions on the transportation of certain goods across the border as “economic aggression.” He even suggested that, under the circumstances, Belarus had grounds to establish a vital corridor for itself using force. He implied that such actions could be justified due to what he called “unprecedented Western pressure” on Belarus.
The Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned these statements and deemed them an open threat to Lithuania’s security. They called the remarks entirely unacceptable and demanded an official explanation from Belarus regarding Muraveiko’s statement.
To provide context, in June, Lithuania had imposed temporary restrictions on the transportation of 57 categories of dual-use goods. These restrictions primarily applied to products containing microelectronics and semiconductor components, which could potentially be used in military applications.
Additionally, Lithuanian customs authorities have been implementing stricter requirements for carriers since July 3rd. Carriers are now required to submit declarations confirming their awareness of the goods’ sellers and buyers, that the goods will be transported through Belarus or Russia in transit without being resold or transshipped in these countries, and that the ultimate user of the goods in a third country is known.
The delivery of the protest note by Lithuania underscores the escalating tensions in the region and the concerns over Belarus’s actions and statements. Lithuania has emphasized its commitment to safeguarding its security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity in response to these perceived threats. The situation highlights the complex geopolitical dynamics at play in Eastern Europe.