Lithuania has closed two more border points with Belarus, explaining that there are threats to Lithuanian national security, reported France Presse, quoted by BTA.

"We have taken measures to limit the movement of people, goods and vehicles - four of the six border points with Belarus are already closed," said Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite.

Last year, Lithuania closed two crossing points on its border with Belarus, AFP recalls.

The neighborhood with Russia, "which has undertaken military aggression against Ukraine, and with its ally Belarus, whose undemocratic regime uses migrants as a means of political pressure on Lithuania, obliges us to take additional measures in the field of security," the Lithuanian minister added.

According to Bilotaite, the intelligence services of Belarus and Russia are increasing their activity on the territory of Lithuania.

Two checkpoints on Lithuania's border with Belarus remain open, but new restrictions for pedestrians and cyclists will be introduced at them. 

According to the Lithuanian Border Service, nearly 390,000 Belarusian citizens crossed the Belarusian-Lithuanian border last year, which is about 50% more than in 2022. According to the Border Service, most of them had EU travel documents issued by Poland.

Lithuania delivered new military aid to Ukraine

Relations between Vilnius and Minsk have deteriorated since the 2020 Belarusian presidential election, in which President Alexander Lukashenko won a new term.

After the election, Lithuania granted asylum to Belarusian opposition figure Svetlana Tsihanovska, who was Lukashenko's rival in the election, other opposition figures and tens of thousands of Belarusian citizens.

Last year, Lithuanian intelligence services warned that Belarusian security services were recruiting members of the Belarusian diaspora in Lithuania through travel between the two countries and on social media.

In 2021, Lithuania, along with Poland and Latvia, faced an unprecedented influx of illegal immigrants from Belarus, with thousands of people of mostly Middle Eastern and African origin managing to cross the border.

The West accused Minsk and Moscow of organizing this influx of people, AFP recalls.

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