Belarusian Opposition Leader Barred From Leaving Country

By RFE/RL's Belarus Service
March 07, 2012
MINSK -- The leader of the opposition United Civic Party in Belarus has been blocked by Belarusian officials from crossing into the neighboring Baltic state of Lithuania.
Anatol Lyabedzka told RFE/RL that he planned to hold meetings in Vilnius with members of Lithuania’s parliament, Foreign Ministry, and the Vilnius mayor’s office.
He said Belarusian border guards prevented him from crossing the border by car, saying he is not allowed to enter the territory of a European Union member state.
No further explanations were given.
The move comes after Belarus-EU relations have worsened in the past two weeks as the EU has expanded sanctions against figures in the regime of authoritarian Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka.
Minsk has responded by asking the EU's ambassador to Belarus and Poland's ambassador to leave the country.