Lithuania blocks millions in EU funding to Belarus

Lithuania has blocked 5.8 million euros in EU funds in a cross-border programme with Belarus, Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday.

The funding, overseen by Lithuania, was halted after the post-election crackdown by the Bellarusian regime, Božena Zaborovska-Zdanovič, spokeswoman of the Lithuanian Interior Ministry, told Reuters.

“All payments were ceased until we received clarification from the European Commission on the apparent risks,” she said.

EUobserver reported on Tuesday that the Lithuanian police handed over 15 drones to Belarusian authorities in mid-September.

The Lithuanian police later clarified that it had transferred the EU funds on May 8 – before the rigged August 9 presidential election and the subsequent violence against protesters – and denied it had participated in the handing over of drones.

According to Reuters, a total of 18.4 million euros in EU funds had been earmarked for the cross-border programme with Belarus, as well as a further 10.7 million euros in 2021, and 3.5 million in 2022-2024.

LRT.LT

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