Belarusians have a hard time in Lithuania

Belarusians in Lithuania face increasing restrictions

Belarusians in Lithuania face increasing restrictions / @rubanau_collage

On June 3, Lithuanian customs officials suddenly began confiscating food and alcohol from people traveling from Belarus to Lithuania. The ban was soon relaxed. But the aftertaste remained.

Moreover, this is not the first strange restriction that Lithuania has introduced for Belarusians. Euroradio asked our compatriots living in Vilnius about the problems they have encountered. 


Dzmitry, 36 years old. Programmer 

I moved to Lithuania three years ago with my wife, children and pets. It was unsafe to stay in Belarus because of participation in protests, so the company I work for relocated me.

I didn't have any problems with legalization, but my colleagues did. Especially those who used to work in state enterprises or law enforcement. They either did not get a residence permit or were denied an extension.

One of the problems I personally encountered is the legalization of money from Belarus. I went to the bank and wanted to deposit 200 thousand euros in my account. And they told me: "Sorry, this is money from Alfa Bank, it is now under sanctions, we cannot open an account for you and accept your money".

I don't even understand what difference it makes which bank I brought it from. It's clear that I lived in Belarus and I had to use some kind of bank!"

It's the same with my friends: they sold a car in Belarus, took the money to Lithuania, deposited it in an account, and then they got a call from the bank telling them to close the account and withdraw the money.

In general, any reasonable person will have a bad attitude towards what is happening now to Belarusians in Lithuania, including me. Before the presidential elections in Lithuania we were told that all this talk was just to score political points. So why is it still going on?

Lithuanians also don't understand why introduce restrictions and expel people. Everyone knows that Belarusians have money, they pay taxes. Although many Lithuanians are not aware of the news, if you talk to them and go deeper into the agenda, they take the side of the Belarusians.

Last year many of my friends left Lithuania. Mostly for Poland, but there are also those who chose Spain or Portugal. And some are even returning to Belarus. Yes, my wife and I are already talking about moving to a country where there are no such strange laws.

Krystsina, 29 years old

I have lived in Vilnius for almost two years. I took a few days to pack and left Belarus - I was warned by the people connected to law enforcement that they could knock on my door any day.

I left on a humanitarian visa, and when it expired, the Lithuanians canceled the option of a waiting visa. And I became an illegal immigrant.

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