The teddy-bear drop in Belarus, initiated by a Swedish public relations company, should not be idealized, security and defence policy expert Aleksandras Matonis said. This stunt violated the law, and Lithuania must respond to the Swedish airplane’s flight to Belarus from its territory. The expert also added that Lithuania should launch an investigation into the case.
“The teddy-bear drop as a public relations campaign – it is classic, ingenious, and perfect and should be included in all textbooks. The question is whether the public relations (campaign) carried out in the territory of a foreign country and implicitly violating certain legal acts of one or a few countries should be idealized,” Matonis told BNS on 9 August, delfi.lt reported.
“In my opinion it is a highly dangerous situation, as denial of clear facts raises doubts in the national defence system. Secondly – failure to take legal measures in response to the violation that was committed in our territory may cause our neighbours and opponents to think that they should be allowed to do the same. Who could deny that such nihilism might push small or large air planes into coming to Lithuania’s territory to drop something?,” he asked rhetorically.
The Minister of Defence of Lithuania Rasa Juknevičienė stated that the Lithuania air space was not violated. However, Alvydas Sumskas, deputy director Civil Aviation Administration announced that the agency was considering opening an administrative offense case against the Swedish pilots. He hopes that the Swedish pilots involved in the incident will come to Lithuania to explain what happened.
“They are identified by their confessions in the media. We are considering opening a case. Theoretically it’s possible, but practically, I think, such a case would end up without any result. If we open a case, we would have to ask them to come, they have to come, sign explanations, we have to produce a protocol, they have to sign it and confirm that they agree. There are six-month-long deadlines. I really doubt that they will come. We would have to drop the case after six months. But we are considering it and will perhaps initiate it after consulting lawyers,” Sumskas said to BNS, 15min.lt reported.
Meanwhile, Lithuanian media just reported that Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office has received a Belarusian call for legal assistance in the investigation of the suspected violation of the Lithuanian-Belarusian border on July 4.
“The call has been received. We are collecting some data before deciding on provision of legal assistance,” Prosecutor General Darius Valys confirmed to BNS on 9 August.