Lithuania may close borders with Russia and Belarus due to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic Gabrielius Landsbergis said, lrytas.lt website reports.
The decision has not yet been made, the authorities are currently discussing the date when the border could be closed, the minister said.
According to Landsbergis, the transit of Russian energy resources will continue through the territory of Lithuania even after the border is closed.
"That is why we are working hard to find a European or regional solution,” Landsbergis added.
Lithuania has decided to lower the level of diplomatic relations with Russia. The country is recalling its ambassador from Russia and closing the Russian Consulate General. The Russian Ambassador to Lithuania was instructed to leave the country as well, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said.
"The Lithuanian government has decided to reduce the number of diplomatic missions. The ambassador of the Russian Federation will have to leave Lithuania,” he said.
The Lithuanian ambassador to Moscow will soon return to Vilnius, whereas the Lithuanian ambassador to Ukraine is expected to return to Kiev.
The Lithuanian authorities have informed NATO and EU partners about these decisions and urged them to do the same.
In addition, Lithuania refused from the supplies of Russian natural gas. Lithuania said that the country was fully self-sufficient in terms of gas supplies owing to the Klaipeda LNG terminal, through which Lithuania received blue fuel by sea. The terminal was put into operation in 2014.
Latvia has also decided to lower the level of diplomatic relations with Russia too. Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics promised to announce specific measures later.
In late February, the Baltic countries and other European states started imposing imposing new sanctions on Russia, which, among other things, affected officials and businessmen, financial and industrial organizations, as well as the reserves of the Russian Central Bank.
On March 18, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania announced the expulsion of Russian diplomats. In Estonia, three employees of the Russian embassy with diplomatic status were declared persona non grata. The same day, the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry declared four Russian diplomats persona non grata because their actions were "incompatible with diplomatic status."
In response, Russia announced the expulsion of diplomats from the three Baltic states, including four – from the Lithuanian embassy. The head of the Latvian Foreign Ministry, Edgars Rinkevics, tweeted later that the decision to expel diplomats from Russia was "unreasonable."
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