BELARUS Closes Its Border To The Rest Of The World
Belarus has today, Monday 31, ordered the closure of its border, preventing anybody from leaving the country, imposing strict new restrictions on its Belarusian citizens, as tensions escalate in the area.
Its border force has been instructed that departure from the country through ground checkpoints is limited for both Belarusian citizens and foreigners with a residence permit in Belarus.
Anybody holding a temporary residence card in another country is not being allowed to leave, with the State Border Committee stating that being in possession of a temporary residence permit in a foreign state is not a basis for leaving Belarus, according to the Express.
As Belarus closes its border, the country’s President, Alexander Lukashenko, is known to have held crunch talks over the weekend in person with Vladimir Putin, the Russian leader, after EU leaders in Brussels spoke of imposing economic sanctions on the Minsk government after the international incident that saw a Belarusian fighter-jet force a Ryanair aircraft to make an emergency landing at Minsk airport, so that a dissident journalist who was on board could be detained.
This has caused huge condemnation worldwide, with Brussels instructing all EU member state flights to avoid flying in Belarus airspace, leaving the country isolated by huge chunks of Europe, but a Russian foreign ministry official has publicly stated that Moscow is firmly behind Alexander Lukashenko, and will help to defend his country, and will provide help should sanctions be taken against Belarus by the EU.
The incident in question took place on May 23, with the Ryanair flight from Athens, Greece, en route to Vilnius in Lithuania when it was intercepted by the Belarus fighter jet, with Ryanair flight crew reporting they had been “notified by Belarus of a potential security threat on board and were instructed to divert to the nearest airport, Minsk”.
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