VILNIUS, October 28 / TASS /. The Lithuanian authorities suspended the allocation of funding to Belarus within the framework of the European Union's program on cross-border cooperation, and Latvia did the same. This was announced on Wednesday at a government meeting by the head of the Lithuanian Ministry of Internal Affairs Rita Tamashiunene.
"Our countries (Lithuania and Latvia – TASS note) will continue to implement projects under this EU program without Belarus, the allocation of funds for them to Belarusian partners has been suspended," she said.
This was done, according to the head of the department, "taking into account the political situation in Belarus." The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Lithuania, as noted by Tamashiunene, appealed to the European Commission with a request to develop recommendations for further action. "No specific recommendations were received, only a wish was expressed for stricter control over the projects being implemented," the minister clarified.
She said that about the fate of joint projects, the Ministry of Internal Affairs had been repeatedly asked by their Lithuanian participants. "The allocation of funds for them was not suspended," Tamashiunene said.
A cross-border cooperation program with the participation of Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus was approved by the EU in November 2015. Its implementation (80 projects accepted) provided € 74 million. Approximately 50 projects were approved with advance financing, which is directed to the executors involved in the projects in all three countries. The projects cover the development of border infrastructure, telecommunications system, initiatives in the fields of culture, education, nature protection and others. The funds are transferred to the Belarusian participants by their partners, who are EU members.