Belarus: Lithuania ‘must answer to us’ for role in ‘teddy bear incident’

Lukashenko: "If there is anyone who won

From the Local (Sweden):  Lithuania on Friday was mulling a request by Belarus to probe claims by Swedish human rights activists that they flew across the border to make a drop of freedom teddy bears, angering Minsk.

Prosecutors in the Baltic state said they were asked for legal assistance "to investigate a possible breach of the state border when a Swedish-piloted light aircraft crossed the Lithuanian-Belarus border."

"Currently data is being collected, and the request for legal assistance will be considered," Ruta Dirsiene, the state prosecutors’ spokesman told AFP.

The move came after Swedish activists illegally flew a plane into Belarus last month dropping hundreds of teddy bears attached to little parachutes carrying signs calling for freedom of speech and human rights.

Belarus — ruled by authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko — has since expelled all Swedish diplomats and threatened consequences for Lithuania after the incident orchestrated by a Swedish advertising firm.

"Lithuania should not be sitting like mice under a broom. They must answer to us why they provided their territory for national border violation," Lukashenko was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency on Thursday.

"If there is anyone who won’t find it funny, it is Lithuania," Lukashenko warned.

Lithuanian officials have refused to comment.

From Charter 97:  Lukaschenko; "we will find an appropriate response to the teddy bear incident.”

“They should thank God our tolerant Belarusians spared the lives of these pilots,” the Belarusian dictator noted. “The plane were detected right over the border. They were too kind to this poor plane. As a result, we have a scandal. But it was a breach of all agreements.”

From BNE:  According to Belapan, the Belarusian KGB’s PR chief Alexander Antanovich said that a request has been sent to Vilnius and Stockholm requesting assistance in the investigation of a violation of the Belarusian border by the airplane on July 4. Antanovich added that the Belarusian law enforcement agencies are asking the two countries for assistance to bring the perpetrators to Minsk so that an "objective investigation of the case" can take place.

Apparently without irony, the KGB man added that Minsk is working on the grounds of international law and existing procedures, and on the understanding that the unauthorized flight violated Nato air space as well as that of Belarus.  (photo: EPA)

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