A Lithuanian’s trip to Belarus ended with long years in the dictator’s prison: he ended up there for a very unexpected reason
“With Belarus supporting Russia’s large-scale military aggression in Ukraine and adding Lithuania and other EU countries to the list of unfriendly states of Belarus, Foreign Office recommends citizens of the Republic of Lithuania not to travel to Belarus, and urges Lithuanian citizens currently in Belarus to leave the country”, – the recommendation for travelers can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
VSD also warns about threats, constantly reminding that Belarusian services can recruit upon arrival.
Nevertheless, many residents do not follow this recommendation, if we believe the information published by Belarusians, since April 15 of last year, they have been offering their neighbors a visa-free regime, 258,299 Lithuanians have taken advantage of it. This year alone, according to Minsk, 10,000 people came to them from Lithuania. people.
Caught with a spinner
This trip is very sad for one of them. Belarusian border guards themselves in 2022. July 23 announced about a Lithuanian who tried to enter the country. He first aroused suspicion because 8 pages of his passport were allegedly ripped out.
“During the border control procedure, with the help of a service dog, a roll of a dark green substance was found in a pack of cigarettes. It was found that there was marijuana in the spinning wheel,” the Belarusian border guards wrote.
The man faced administrative responsibility for attempting to illegally cross the border, and up to 7 years in prison for drug smuggling.
The State Border Guard Service (VSAT), then commenting on this case, mentioned that this person left Lithuania legally and mentioned that the report of the Belarusian border guards could be a provocation, which the special services and diplomats had warned about.
Lithuania is trying to save
Delfi now inquired about the fate of this citizen and learned that he is still sitting in a Belarusian prison.
“The Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania (LR) in Belarus is aware of the case and the situation of our citizen,” the MFA answered when asked about this person. – According to its competence, the embassy provides consular assistance and takes care of the transfer of the citizen of the Republic of Lithuania to Lithuania for the remainder of the prison sentence.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs refrained from further comments, saying only that the documents have been forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, which is taking care of the repatriation of Lithuanians who continue to serve their sentences.
According to Delfi’s unofficial information, this man was convicted in Belarus in November and sentenced to 3 years in prison.
It is true that such a punishment should not be observed too much, because in Lithuania, a man would face an even harsher punishment for trying to import a drug, according to Article 199 of the Criminal Code, imprisonment from 3 to 10 years is imposed for drug smuggling.
Delfi wrote before each time that dozens of shuttle buses depart from Lithuania to Belarus and back every day.
Although the majority of those traveling are Belarusians, there are also Lithuanians who go to visit relatives or to do cheaper shopping, here they are looking for cheaper fuel, cigarettes or alcohol.
Interestingly, there is a reminder on the website of the Lithuanian customs office that it is forbidden to import alcohol and cigarettes from Russia.
Delfi inquired as to why a similar ban does not apply to Belarus, and received the following response from the Customs Department: “The EU has not introduced restrictive measures for alcohol and tobacco products from Belarus, so the general procedure applies, as when transporting from third countries.”
The representatives of the Customs ignored the question of whether it is recorded how much alcohol and cigarettes people bring from Belarus.
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