First convoy from Poland comes to Lithuania, Latvians, Estonians escorted to Latvia

  • 2020-03-17
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS - The first convoy of vehicles returning home via Poland crossed into Lithuania on Tuesday morning and Latvian and Estonian nationals travelling in minibuses were escorted by police up to the border with Latvia.  

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says four convoys have been formed in total. 

According to Giedrius Misutis, a spokesman for the State Border Guard Service (VSAT), the first convoy of 20 vehicles with 71 people entered Lithuania shortly before 10 a.m. 

"Polish authorities escorted the convoy to our border. (It crossed the border) via the Kalvarija checkpoint at 9:47 a.m.," Misutis told BNS.

"In total, there were 20 vehicles – 16 with Lithuanian citizens and four with Latvian and Estonian citizens," he said, adding that the four vehicles with Latvian and Estonian nationals have been escorted by police up the border with Latvia. 

A total of 52 two Lithuanian nationals as well as four Ukrainians and a Belarusian with Lithuanian residence permits have already arrived in the country, the spokesman said. 

 Skvernelis said that a total of four convoys have been formed so far. 

"Four convoys are currently on their way through Poland to Lithuania. One of them has already reached Lithuania. Seventy-one people have returned," he told reporters. 

Poland closed its borders to foreign nationals on Sunday, leaving a number of Lithuanians stranded in Germany.  

The situation at the Polish-German border escalated after Poland decided not to allow Lithuanian passenger cars to transit through its territory in a convoy. 

Lithuania has arranged a special train from Frankfurt (Oder) to bring home passengers of these cars and a ferry from Sassnitz for the cars and their drivers. 

However, people are having difficulty getting to these locations due to traffic congestion.