Date: 17 September 2020

Lukashenko closes borders, except for one

On Thursday, September 17, Aleksander Lukashenko declared that he is closing the borders with Lithuania and Poland. In the case of Ukraine, only enhanced control measures are to be applied. This is argued by the alleged threat from the western neighbors, Lukashenko is at the mercy of Russia. The day after Sergey Shoygu’s visit, Lukashenko said that he was forced “to build joint defense for the Union State with the Russian President and the Minister of Defense in the last few days.” On the evening of September 17, the independent media reported that the flow of people through the border checkpoints was as usual. Meanwhile, the West is looking for ways to help Belarusians. These include opening up the EU to Belarusian entrepreneurs and setting up a stabilization fund, perhaps with the participation of the IMF. On Thursday, Polish-Lithuanian intergovernmental consultations were held in the Lithuanian capital under the leadership of Prime Ministers Mateusz Morawiecki and Saulius Skvernelis. Following them, Morawiecki spoke about at least 1 billion euros in the aforementioned fund. We support the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Belarus – could be read in the declaration, which was signed in Vilnius on September 17 by the Prime Ministers of Poland and Lithuania. Meanwhile, 17 member countries of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have set up an independent mission to investigate alleged human rights violations in Belarus in connection with the presidential election.

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