Belarus Partially Closed Its Border With Four Countries
Belarus partially blocked the border with Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine due to the spread of coronavirus, BelTA reports, citing the press service of the state border Committee of the Republic.
As the Agency told, Belarus temporarily restricts entry from these countries to its territory through checkpoints of certain categories of individuals. The restrictions do not apply to employees of embassies and consulates, drivers performing international transport operations, members of train and locomotive crews of international railway services.
The checkpoint at Minsk airport continues to operate for arrivals from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine without such restrictions.
Earlier today, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said that the closure of the Republic's borders does not mean their transformation into an "iron curtain." At the same time, he noted that the authorities of neighboring States "challenged" Minsk, although the peoples of these countries "are not to blame." Then the Belarusian leader did not name the country with which the authorities of the Republic intend to close the border.
In addition, today Lukashenko appointed his new assistants Valery Vakulchik (ex-head of the KGB) and Yuri Karayev (removed from the post of interior Minister today) as his inspectors in the Brest and Grodno regions bordering Poland and Lithuania. In these regions, they are instructed to strengthen the protection of public order with the support of the army, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the KGB.
Belarus already closed the border with Lithuania and Poland on September 17, while the border security with Ukraine was also strengthened. Lukashenka explained these actions as a "threat of war" imposed from the outside and a desire to prevent it from spreading to the territory of the Republic. This was done after the first month of protests that began on August 9, the day of the country's presidential election. According to the CEC, Lukashenka won them. The European Union, the United Kingdom, and Canada did not recognize the results of the vote and imposed sanctions on high-ranking officials of Belarus in connection with alleged fraud and violence against protesters. A number of EU countries, in particular, the Baltic States and Poland, have imposed personal sanctions against Lukashenka.