New integration agreements between Minsk and Moscow will bring Russia closer to the Lithuanian border "with all the consequences", which is "not a very positive thing", Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said on Tuesday.
Linas Linkevičius
© DELFI / Orestas Gurevičius

Linkevicius told the Ziniu Radijas radio that "it would hardly be correct to draw conclusions" based on Russian media reports about agreements on the unification of the customs systems, trade and financial rules, and the energy market starting 2021. He expects that more official information will be available at the end of 2019.

"Actually, I agree with some political scientists who say that nobody can rule out the existence of some sort of secret protocols to the agreement," the minister said.

"Should any changes occur, Belarus' government will hardly be the initiator. What it means is that Russia is coming closer de jure and de facto with all the consequences this entails," he said. "We can hardly regard this as a very positive thing."

According to Linkevicius, Lithuania has repeatedly emphasized that Belarus is "very strongly integrated with Russia", which is clearly illustrated, among other things, by the joint defense systems of these countries and the joint work of their security services.

Lithuania, therefore, will maintain "the principle of selective cooperation" with Belarus. Vilnius will continue to underline the risks posed by the Astravyets nuclear power plant, but will not rule out making certain concessions, for example, in talks on visa-free travel if it sees signs of progress, he added.

BNS
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