Updated at 13:48,15-08-2017

Lithuanian TV tells about lobbyists for Belarusian regime

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Some Lithuanian businessmen close eyes to Lukashenka's crimes for the sake of profit.

This topic was raised in the programme "Comment of the Week" on TV3 channel, 15min.lt reports.

The businessmen, who insist on investing in Belarus, say Lithuania will help the country transit from the authoritarian regime to democratic values. But it is a wrong opinion. Lithuanian businessmen build factories and create new jobs in Belarus, but democratic values are being ignored. The regime of Lukashenka doesn't change. Trying to guarantee stable incomes and peace, businessmen praise the dictator and influence politicians in order they close eyes to crimes of the regime and crackdown on opposition.

The TV channel reminds about a meeting with the Belarusian dictator organised after Dalia Grybauskaite was elected president of Lithuania. An issue of constructive cooperation was discussed at the meeting. The Lithuanian authorities called on businessmen to invest in Belarus.

The factories built in Belarus belong to Sigitas Paulauskas and his group Vakarų Medienos specilising in wood processing and Visvaldas Matijošaitis's Viciunai Group specialising in food production. Arvi company dealing with turkey processing and production and leader of Lithuania's furniture market SBA Baldai opened their representations in Belarus. Vilniaus Prekyba Group specialising in retail trade also develops activity in Belarus.

Šiauliai-based businessmen Šedžius invest in Belarus.

"To work in Belarus successfully, you need to pay taxes, not to criticise the authorities, not to support the opposition, not to express in public your opinion on the president," businessman and MP Andrius Šedžius says.

Former MP from the Social Democratic Party Stanislovas Giedraitis praises the "Belarusian order" and says the regime of Lukashenka is changing.

"There must be order. The current situation is more favourable for the opposition too. Lukashenka changes his mind on some issues," he says.

Socialist democratic MEP Justas Paleckis presented his report to the European Parliament saying that the human rights situation in Minsk improved, so some sanctions should be lifted from Belarus.

"Businessmen working with such countries as Belarus are always cautious about any critical political statements in relation to their management fearing that such statements may backfire," politologist Ramūnas Vilpišauskas said.