03:15 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Vilnius protests Belarus' decision to blacklist Lithuanian journalist

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    The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry has protested the Belarusian authorities' decision to blacklist and deny entry to Lithuanian state radio and TV journalist Ruta Lankininkaite.

    The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry has protested the Belarusian authorities' decision to blacklist and deny entry to Lithuanian state radio and TV journalist Ruta Lankininkaite.

    Belarusian border guards on Wednesday denied entry to a Lithuanian film crew saying that TV journalist Lankininkaite, who was part of the group, was included in the personae non grata list and annulled her visa.

    "We have expressed a protest in regard to the entry ban imposed on Lithuanian journalist Ruta Lankininkaite, who had a valid visa and a valid accreditation for this year," Evaldas Ignatavicius, Lithuanian deputy foreign minister, told journalists.

    The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry summoned on Wednesday Belarusian Ambassador Vladimir Drazhin to explain the incident.

    The Baltic state is known for its support of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko's opponents. In June, a House of United Belarus, that brings together Belarusian political immigrants, was opened in Vilnius. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis hailed the idea and expressed hope that Belarus would return to "democracy and freedom".

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