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World Belarus Tightens Border Security With Two EU Neighbors

12:20  18 september  2020
12:20  18 september  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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(Bloomberg) -- Belarus said it heightened security along its western border with Poland and Lithuania after President Alexander Lukashenko threatened to restrict access to the two European Union neighbors.

Alexander Lukashenko, Alexander Lukashenko are posing for a picture: Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko speaks at the forum of Union of Women in Minsk on September 17, 2020. © Photographer: TUT.BY/AFP /Getty Images Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko speaks at the forum of Union of Women in Minsk on September 17, 2020.

Reserves were called up to help patrol the border, the State Border Committee said in a statement posted on Telegram Friday.

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  Belarus police detain hundreds of women at protest Riot police on Saturday detained hundreds of women, dragging many into vans, as opposition protesters marched through the Belarusian capital Minsk demanding an end to President Alexander Lukashenko's rule. Police blocked the women and began pulling them into police vans as they stood with linked hands, swiftly detaining hundreds, an AFP journalist saw. Police lifted some women off their feet in order to remove them.Around two thousand women took part in the "Sparkly March", wearing shiny accessories and carrying red-and-white flags of the protest movement.

Lukashenko, who’s facing the biggest challenge of his 26-year rule after the country’s disputed Aug. 9 vote, has blamed the West for inciting mass protests that have shown no sign of flagging and drawn closer to Russia.

“We’ve been forced to withdraw the troops from the streets, put half of the army on high alert and close the state border from the west, primarily with Lithuania and Poland,” Lukashenko said Thursday, addressing a women-only support rally at an ice hockey arena in Minsk. “We have been forced to strengthen the state border, unfortunately, with our fraternal Ukraine.”

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Lukashenko last month made an as-yet empty threat to shift cargo flows from Lithuanian ports to Russia.

The borders remained open Friday and Polish and Lithuanian officials said they’re watching the situation. Lines haven’t formed yet at border check points to Lithuania, according to live monitoring information on the Baltic country’s State Border Committee website.

“There have been statements that half of the army has been thrown to guard the Western border, as if something is threatening from here, something is going to attack,” Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said in an interview with Lithuanian Radio. “This is an unbalanced response to the situation from an unbalanced person.”

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Belarusian police detain at least 10 people at opposition rally: Ifx .
Belarusian police detain at least 10 people at opposition rally: IfxThe opposition is contesting official results of Belarus's Aug. 9 presidential election which declared incumbent President Alexander Lukashenko the outright winner.

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