Detour on a trip to Lithuania: Report: AfD man Peter Bystron secretly traveled to Belarus

Detour on Lithuania trip
Report: AfD man Peter Bystron secretly traveled to Belarus

AfD politicians have always been close to Russia or Belarus. According to a report, the member of parliament Bystron traveled to Belarus in November, albeit secretly. He used an announced business trip to Lithuania for a trip lasting several days, as is now known.

According to a media report, AfD member of parliament Petr Bystron visited Belarus during an official business trip. Bystron made a detour to Belarus during a trip to Lithuania in November, the research network Correctiv and the Lithuanian television broadcaster LRT reported. He therefore did not indicate this stopover to the Bundestag.

Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko is an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both countries cooperate closely militarily. Belarus also allowed Russia to use Belarusian territory as a starting point for aggressive war in Ukraine. At the same time, the authoritarian ruler Lukashenko is cracking down on the opposition in his country.

Correctiv and LRT, citing a source in the Lithuanian border authorities, reported that Bystron entered Belarus overland at the border town of Medininkai on November 16 and returned on November 19. On the way back, Bystron’s border crossing was checked by the border authorities and the name of the driver was recorded. The Lithuanian border authorities do not want to comment officially on this.

AfD faction probably admits a trip

According to the media, Bystron left a written inquiry unanswered. In a direct conversation, he neither wanted to confirm nor deny the trip. However, “several statements from the AfD parliamentary group” confirmed Bystron’s trip to Belarus to the two media.

Bystron is chairman of the AfD in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Bundestag. The chairman of the committee, Michael Roth, described the references to the Belarus detour as “a highly disconcerting occurrence”. There is reasonable suspicion that a trip should be covered up, said Roth Correctiv and LRT.

All other parliamentary groups in the Bundestag informed the media that none of their MPs had traveled to Russia or Belarus since the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. The AfD faction left a question about Bystron’s trip unanswered.

Bystron did not mention detours in the application

Roth explained that, at the beginning of November, Bystron submitted an application to the President of the Bundestag, Bärbel Bas, for approval of a single business trip to Vilnius in Lithuania. “Neither in the application for a business trip nor in Mr. Bystron’s later travel report is there any mention of an onward journey to Belarus.” According to the media, Roth went on to say that he would raise references to the trip in the Foreign Affairs Committee. Travel to Belarus is not “in the interest of the entire German Bundestag,” he emphasized.

AfD politician Steffen Kotré recently caused a stir with an appearance on a Russian propaganda show. He claimed at the time that German politics was inciting people against Russia and that the German people actually didn’t want to support Ukraine at all. Two AfD politicians are said to have been included in a show on Russian television yesterday. According to political advisor Johannes Hillje, party politicians are now “an integral part of Putin’s propaganda.”

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