The U.S. Embassy in Minsk on Monday warned U.S. citizens to immediately leave Belarus amid the country’s support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine and a recent string of border crossing closures with NATO countries.
“Do not travel to Belarus due to Belarusian authorities’ continued facilitation of Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, the buildup of Russian military forces in Belarus, the arbitrary enforcement of local laws, the potential of civil unrest, the risk of detention, and the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Belarus,” the embassy warned. “U.S. citizens in Belarus should depart immediately. Consider departing via the remaining border crossings with Lithuania and Latvia, or by plane. U.S. citizens are not permitted to enter Poland overland from Belarus. Do not travel to Russia or to Ukraine.”
The State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory for the country, cautioning citizens not to visit.
Monday’s warning, however, follows Lithuania’s closing of two border crossings with Belarus on Friday. The governments of Lithuania, Poland, and Latvia, have all warned that they may announce further closures.
Earlier this year, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko shocked the world by negotiating a last minute resolution to mercenary Yevgeny Prigozhin’s would-be coup against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The deal saw Wagner mercenary troops relocate to Belarus, where they reportedly helped train the local military forces. Lukashenko has further hinted that those mercenary troops may be eyeing an incursion into Polish territory, prompting Warsaw to position troops near the border.
Belarus has been under intense western scrutiny since even before aiding the Russian war. Lukashenko has ruled the country since 1994 and earned the moniker of “Europe’s last dictator.”
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