VILNIUS – Lithuanian Culture Minister Simonas Kairys says he's shocked by Lithuanian opera singer Vaidas Vysniauskas' decision to perform in the Belarusian capital over the weekend.
"I am shocked, to put it simply. In fact, such choices are incomprehensible to my common sense. The question in principle, is what that person was thinking when making those choices," the minister told BNS on Monday.
His comment came in response to Vysniauskas's performance on Sunday in Minsk.
Better known abroad as Kristian Benedikt, the Lithuanian opera singer took part in a Gala Opera concert at the Bolshoi Theater in Minsk.
"Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that such a well-known person would travel to Minsk to perform," Kairys said.
Although the existing legislation does not ban people from traveling to Belarus, he said, it's a morally unacceptable decision as the Lukashenko regime supports and contributes to Russia's war in Ukraine.
"This is similar to some businesses still operating in Russia. It's a question of our conscience and morality. Such a trip will have negative impact on the singer's career as far as the Lithuanian audience is concerned," the culture minister said.
Vysniauskas currently has no contracts with Lithuanian cultural institutions, he pointed out.
BNS has not been able to reach the opera singer for comment.