Increasing Lithuanian-Belarusian tension

  • 2008-03-27
  • In cooperation with BNS

VILNIUS- Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilasviews the Belarusian forceful actions against peaceful demonstrators as a fearof losing authority.

"All regimes fear opposition, losing authority, and thus behave thisway. There's little wonder", Kirkilas said in a radio interview.

He expressed regrets that Lithuania'sneighboring state "lives about 30 years back" as its people cannotcommemorate historical dates.

The prime minister deemed the actions taken by Belarusian police as"absolutely not in congruence with norms of the European Union and Europealtogether".

"We demanded an explanation. Moreover so, because these were notillegal journalists, they had accreditations", Kirkilas spoke.

"We have to maintain a dialogue with the neighbor state as there areeconomic dealings, including nuclear energy, as Ignalina (nuclear power plant)is on the same lake, it borders with both countries, and there are other linksas well. However Lithuania also maintainsrelations with the opposition. Political parties have connections, the EuropeanHumanitiesUniversityoperates in Lithuania, there are manyprojects under implementation with other countries", Kirkilas said.

On Tuesday, the unsanctioned Belarusian opposition demonstration in Minsk, attendedby hundreds of people, ended in clashes with the police and the detention,according to different reports, of 80 to over 100 protesters. A crew of the Lithuanian national television wasamong the detained.

The demonstration was held to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the declarationof the restoration of Belarusian Independence.