Lithuania: Belarusian exiles decry “growing hostility”

Belarusian exiles in Lithuania have protested against what they say is “growing hostility” towards Belarusians, BNS reports. Volha Karach, director of the Lithuania-based NGO, Nash Dom (Our House), said that Belarusians in Lithuania were “victims of their openness.” She noted that Lithuanian authorities now deemed past military service or links to state institutions in Belarus as grounds for declaring a person a threat to national security. Meanwhile, some Belarusian IT companies that relocated to Lithuania are now considering leaving, according to a representative of the office of Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, LRT reports. The Lithuanian parliament, the Seimas, may soon impose similar visa and residence permit bans on Belarusians as on Russian citizens. There are now over 50,000 Belarusian nationals in Lithuania.