The State Department issued a Level 4 travel warning for Belarus, the highest security alert, urging Americans to leave the country immediately. This decision comes as neighboring countries Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland have heightened security along their borders due to concerns about Russian Wagner forces present in Belarus. Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko, known as Europe’s last dictator, has faced accusations of human rights abuses and political repression.
The U.S. presence in Belarus is currently limited to handling emergency services for American citizens. NATO-member countries are worried about Lukashenko’s collaboration with Putin and the potential implications for regional stability. Lithuania has already closed two border crossings with Belarus, and further closures are possible, according to the Polish, Lithuanian, and Latvian governments. Poland and Latvia have also increased their troops at the border.
Specifically the State Department states, “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 State Department notes in their Do Not Travel Advisory that Belarus enforces special restrictions on dual U.S.-Belarusian nationals and may refuse to acknowledge dual U.S.-Belarusian nationals’ U.S. citizenship, including denying or delaying U.S. consular assistance to detained dual nationals.
If you decide to travel to Belarus: