February 26. 2024. 6:47

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France calls on its citizens to leave Belarus by road

French citizens in Belarus are urged to leave the country by road without delay, the Foreign Ministry said Monday, pointing to the Lithuanian, Polish and Lithuanian borders as crossing points.

French nationals already in Belarus are “to leave the country by road without delay”, the Foreign Ministry said. The ministry nor the Embassy in Minsk, both contacted by EURACTIV, indicated the exact number of French people still in Belarus, though based on the people who registered to vote in last year’s presidential elections in Belarus, there are about 150 people.

Crossing points are open at the Lithuanian, Polish and Latvian borders, the ministry added. A single crossing point allows people to go to Poland, while borders with Lithuania and Latvia remain open.

The Polish-Belarusian border crossing at Bobrowniki would be closed from 10 February in the interests of “state security”, the Polish Interior Minister announced on 9 February. This post is one of the main transit points between the two countries.

All travel to Belarus is “formally inadvisable”, the Quai d’Orsay said, citing the “the context of Russia’s armed offensive against Ukraine and the closure of Belarusian airspace.”

“Nothing new,” however, a ministry spokesperson told EURACTIV, saying that “restrictions were already in place”. In any case, Belarus recently allowed Russia to use its territory as a rear base.

At the time of the announcement, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjarto was in Minsk to discuss a peaceful solution between Russia and Ukraine.

(Davide Basso | EURACTIV.fr)