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Lithuania hands in diplomatic note to Belarus over air border violation recorded

Užsienio reikalų ministerija
Šarūno Mažeikos/BFL nuotr. / Užsienio reikalų ministerija
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania handed in a diplomatic note to Belarus on Friday, asking it to provide information on a violation of the Lithuanian air border, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed to BNS on Friday.

"We can confirm that a diplomatic note was handed in to the Belarusian Embassy, asking to provide information on a violation of Lithuania's air border," the ministry's Information and Public Relations Department said in a statement sent to BNS.

The Ministry of National Defense confirmed to BNS on Friday the country's army had recorded an air border violation from the Belarusian side.

"The air surveillance services recorded that at 4:54 PM on 18 September, an unidentified aircraft approached from the Belarusian side, crossed the Lithuanian state air border entering Lithuania's territory near the village of Macusiai, Šalčininkai Distinct, southeastern Lithuania. After spending 10-20 seconds in the territory of Lithuania, the aircraft flew back to Belarus. The Air Force of the Lithuanian Armed Forces informed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the incident," the Ministry of National Defense said.

Meanwhile the State Border Guard Service told BNS the Pre-Trial Investigation Unit of Vilnius Frontier District launched a pre-trial investigation over the border violation on 18 September.

The air border violation took place three months after the so-called teddy bear stunt when Swedish activists flew into the territory of Belarus and airdropped hundreds of teddy bears with pro-democratic messages.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko called on Lithuania in August to answer Minsk's questions over the teddy bear incident, and threatened Lithuania with retaliatory actions.

Lithuanian law enforcement launched a pre-trial investigation into the incident on 14 August. A separate probe is being carried out by the State Border Guard Service and controlled by the Prosecutor General's Office. The latter has not so far said whether it plans to respond to Belarus' legal assistance request sent following the teddy bear stunt.

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