The Belarusian authorities have something to hide in the West-2017 exercise.
Lithuanian politician Audronyus Azhubalis commented to Radio Svaboda on the last incident, when Lithuanian experts were denied Belarusian visas.
"This demonstrates that nothing has changed in Belarus since 2004. It was then that I was not allowed to cross the Belarusian border, and the next 5 years I was banned from entering Belarus. And now the story has repeated."
According to the politician, the European community "has played too much" with the dictator Lukashenka and now has no leverage to influence him. Therefore, we have to admit once again that Lukashenka is using Europe exclusively at his own advantage: either when it is necessary to receive peacekeeping dividends, or to involve some agencies to make the Kremlin nervous.
The Lithuanian politician Laurynas Kasciunas also does not understand why the Belarusian authorities should complicate the situation on the eve of the West-2017 exercises, provoking an international scandal. And if this happened, then the allies have something to hide from the observers. This indicates that the maneuvers are not as harmless as the army generals try to imagine.
The deputy of the Lithuanian Seimas, Mantas Adomenas, supported his colleagues and expressed his concern over the West-2017 exercises. At the same time, he, as well as all Lithuanian politicians, does care about the status of Belarus, which is the first to lose sovereignty from the union with Russia. He assured that NATO troops closely monitor the situation and are ready for any scenario of the large-scale maneuvers.
Let's remind that an international discussion takes place in Minsk on the topic "Regional security and the West-2017 exercises. A point of view from Minsk, Vilnius, Warsaw and Kiev." Audronyus Azhubalis and 5 deputies of the Lithuanian Seimas could not get to the round table, as the Belarusian authorities did not issue them visas.