Two border crossing points with Belarus to be temporarily suspended from 18 August

Starting from August 18th, there will be a temporary suspension of operations at two out of the six border checkpoints between Lithuania and Belarus, specifically the Šumskas and Tverečius border checkpoints. The proposal put forward by the Ministry of Transport and Communications received Government approval earlier today.

“It was decided to temporarily suspend operations at these checkpoints in order to reduce threats on the border with Belarus. The only traffic through these checkpoints is passenger cars, and empty lorries through Tverečius. All capacities at the checkpoints will be directed to the largest checkpoint in Medininkai, so the situation with regard to queues of vehicles and freight should not change substantially,” said Ramūnas Dilba, Chancellor of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

According to the Minister of the Interior, Agnė Bilotaitė, the closure of these two border checkpoints is a response to the relocation of the Wagner group to Belarus.

‘This decision is one of the preventive measures aimed at managing emerging threats to national security and possible provocations at the border. It will enable border officers to redistribute their capacities at the border with Belarus and pay even larger attention to the protection of the state border’, said Minister Bilotaitė.

The traffic from these checkpoints will be rerouted to the Medininkai border checkpoint close to Šumskas. This checkpoint is currently undergoing its final phase of reconstruction. Notably, it stands out as both the largest and technologically advanced, featuring an X-ray inspection system, a feature absent at both the Tverečius and Šumskas checkpoints. This enhancement is expected to play a significant role in curbing smuggling activities as well.

There are other three border checkpoints operating on the border with Belarus: Lavoriškės, Raigardas and Šalčininkai, which account for a significant share of freight traffic.