The entry of three armed Belarusian officers into Lithuanian territory was a deliberate act, Rustamas Liubajevas, commander of Lithuania’s State Border Guard Service, says.
The SBGS reported earlier in the day that three armed Belarusian border guards entered up to 2.5 meters into Lithuanian territory in Ignalina District on Monday.
Liubajevas told BNS it was the Belarusian officers’ a deliberate provocation.
“It was definitely a deliberate act because Belarusian border guards are well aware where the border line is. Moreover, the physical barrier and border signs are clearly visible. This incident can be seen as a deliberate act aimed at testing our vigilance”, Liubajevas said. “And the fact that the whole situation was recorded and monitored proves once again that we have a very detailed control, visibility and management of the situation at the state border. In the event of such and similar incidents, we are capable to react appropriately.”
According to the border service, all material is currently being collected and the launch of a a pre-trial investigation into the illegal crossing is now being considered. The commander of the Vilnius frontier District has approached the relevant Belarusian border guard representative over this event.
“As always, Lithuania has very strict protocols on responding to incidents of this type, and we have a procedure in place, and representatives of the Belarusian border guard service have been informed, and there are plans inform at the Foreign Ministry level as well, and a note will be drafted and then handed in Belarus,” Liubajevas told BNS.
The three armed Belarusian border guards patrolling on the Belarusian side of the border were spotted by Lithuanian border guards from the Vilnius Frontier District’s Puskos Frontier Station via the border surveillance system.
“After entering up to 2.5 meters into the Lithuanian side, the Belarusians started walking between the physical barrier, which prevents further access to the Lithuanian territory, and the border line. Border guards from the Puskos Frontier Station were immediately sent to the area, but their intervention was not necessary as the incident did not evolve further,” the SBGS said.
It says the situation was under control and the Belarusian border guards were not able to enter Lithuania any further due to the physical barrier in Lithuania and Lithuanian border guards’ readiness to respond.
In April, 2023, Lithuanian border guards recorded two similar incidents in Salcininkai and Svencionys Districts.
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