Minsk describes Lithuanian foreign minister as overwhelmed with emotions

Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius is being overwhelmed with emotions over Belarus, Dzmitry Mironchyk, spokesperson for the Belarusian foreign ministry, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Mr. Linkevicius told Germany’s radio station Deutsche Welle that Belarus’ “integration into Russia is going very dynamically in all areas.”

“There will soon be a military exercise called Zapad 2017, and a lot of military vehicles will be brought to Belarus from Russia,” Mr. Linkevicius said. “It is difficult to say now whether these vehicles will be taken back. One should not innocently think that there are any obstacles to this integration. Quite the opposite, there are fewer and fewer of them. Lithuania would certainly like to support Belarus’ sovereignty… what is left of it.”

According to Mr. Mironchyk, Mr. Linkevicius’ latest statement about the remains of Belarus’ sovereignty strikes with its “patronizing and scornful” tone.

“This tone has echoes of imperial might,” he said. “The paradox is that Lithuania was last an empire in the first half of the 15th century when there was our common Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Perhaps the minister is fond of historic literature and draws his inspiration from it. Or this is, as they say, the tongue ever turns to the aching tooth, and Mr. Linkevicius projects onto Belarus the situation in Lithuania which handed over a considerable part of its sovereignty to the EU and NATO.”

“It is important for us that Belarus’ sovereignty is supported by the people in our country,” Mr. Mironchyk said. “And if someone abroad is truly concerned about Belarus’ sovereignty, then they should help by doing something rather than become engaged in insults or preaching.”