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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 03.12.2020, 21:04

Belarus closes border for private and passenger transport

BC, Riga/Vilnius/Tallinn, 29.10.2020.Print version
Belarus on Thursday closed its border for private and passenger transport arriving from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, Tut.by web portal reported, cites LETA/BNS.

"Because of the epidemiological situation in its neighbor countries, Belarus is temporarily restricting the entry of some categories of natural persons into its territory through land border crossing points from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine," Belarus' State Border Guard Committee said in a statement quoted by Tut.by.


The Belarusian authorities also indicate that the restrictions do not apply to employees of diplomatic and consular missions, drivers of international carriers' vehicles, as well as international train crews. 


Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told BNS that Lithuania has not received any official explanation from Minsk and that diplomats are trying to clarify the situation.


On Thursday afternoon it was reported that people cannot return to Belarus from Poland and Lithuania, and later there were reports about problems crossing into Belarus also from Ukraine and Latvia.


At present, only trucks and diplomatic transport vehicles are allowed into Belarus, all others are turned away.


Everyone who wants are allowed to leave Belarus, but drivers and passengers on international buses are warned that they will not be allowed back if they cross the border now.


The border-crossing point at Minsk Airport is operating without restrictions, Tut.by informed.


As the Lithuanian Interior Ministry confirmed to BNS, Belarus closed its border with Lithuania for passenger transport on Thursday afternoon, citing safety requirements to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. "This situation came as a surprise for us really. It changed as of 4 p.m. when Belarusian citizens with Lithuanian residence permits were not allowed into the territory of the Republic if Belarus. There was also a case when Belarusian citizens with Estonian residence permits were also not allowed to enter," Rustamas Liubajevas, chief of Lithuania's SBGS, told BNS.


Belarusian media also reports that borders have also been closed with Poland, Ukraine and Latvia.






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