Belarusian border closure would harm Lithuanian economy – Mazuronis

  • 2023-08-04
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The closure of the Belarusian border would harm Lithuania's economy as it would limit the opportunities for Belarusian IT specialists to come to Lithuania, says Andrius Mazuronis, leader of Lithuania's opposition Labor Party.

"We would really damage our economy because we actually have a large number of young, active people educated in Belarus, who work here in Lithuania, and who receive very high salaries," Mazuronis told the public radio LRT on Friday.

"I would name at least a few companies in the IT sector, having over a thousand programmers, where the median salary is 5,000 to 6,000 euros, which is a really impressive integration into our economy. We would be hurting our economy," he added.

The politician does not rule out the need to close the Lithuanian-Belarusian border because of the threat posed by the Wagner mercenary group, but, he said, there are no circumstances for such measures now.

Lithuania, Latvia and Poland are currently considering closing their borders with Belarus.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda met with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Thursday and said border closure would be a last resort measure to address the security crisis, "if we see Wagner's militant units deliberately building up close to our border and launching various hybrid attacks towards our border".

Lithuania and Poland claim there are currently around 4,000 Wagner soldiers in Belarus.