Lukashenka threatens Lithuania with sanctions

Aliaksandr Lukashenka during a trip to Orsha / BELTA

Aliaksandr Lukashenka on August 28 threatened to retaliate against the EU countries that called to impose sanctions on the Belarusian leadership, with Poland and Lithuania slammed the most. 

Speaking at a meeting in Osha, he threatened to close air corridors for flights from Poland and Lithuania over Belarus.

"Before, they [Poles and Lithuanians] flew over us to China and Russia. Now they will fly either through the Baltic Sea or the Black Sea to trade with Russia and other things. When it comes to the sanctioned goods (those embargoed by Russia), they should stop dreaming. We will show them what sanctions mean," state news agency BELTA quotes Lukashenka as saying.

Most likely, when he speaks about 'sanctioned goods', it means that the Belarusian ruler threatens to close the smuggling corridors for EU foodstuff deliveries to Russia.

"They have forgotten what Belarus is," Lukashenka said.

He also said that the government was ordered to divert Belarsuain export flows from the seaports in Lithuania to other countries. "Our trade flows via Lithuania accounts for 30 percent of Lithuania's budget. What else do they need? They are feeling too good, so we will cut them to size," Lukashenka said.

After the disputed August 9 presidential elections in Belarus and unprecedented police brutality during post-election protests, the foreign ministers of EU member states decided to introduce personal sanctions against the members of the Belarusian government responsible for election rigging and violence against peaceful demonstrators. Lithuania drew up its own sanctions list without waiting for EU's common measures. The Lithuanian list now includes 118 Belarusian officials, beginning with Aliaksandr Lukashenka.

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