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Frequently asked questions on a state of emergency

A state of emergency has been declared from the midnight of November 10 until the midnight of 9 December within the entire border zone at the Lithuania-Belarus border, and five kilometres extending from the border zone deep into the country, also in the accommodation facilities for foreigners and 200 meters around them.

 

1. What is the state of emergency and why is it needed?

This is the first time Lithuania has resorted to this instrument. It is critical in controlling the crisis of irregular migration caused by the events on the Belarus-Poland border, as this threat is also real on the Lithuanian border. Besides, the visible links with the incitement of unrest in the accommodation sites of irregular migrants and in border territories pose a serious threat to society. These measures are expected to prevent potential threats arising from the influx of migrants.

2. How long will the state of emergency continue?

It will continue for one month, i.e., until the midnight of 9 December 2021.

3. How wide is the border zone?

The Law on the State Border and the Guard Thereof states that the border zone is up to five kilometres in width.

4. Where will the state of emergency apply?

Under the Law on the State Border and the Guard Thereof – the border zone up to five kilometres in width from Lithuania’s external border and, additionally, five-kilometre-wide territory from the border zone into the depth of the country.

Movement within five kilometres from the Lithuania-Belarus border (i.e., the border zone) will be banned unless authorised by the State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania (SBGS). The ban will not apply to and no authorisation will be required for those who reside and possess immovable property in this border zone, but they will be required to carry with them an identity document and a residence declaration certificate or real estate ownership documents. Those who reside in the zone under the state of emergency will not need authorisation, but they can be checked by officers.

5. Which municipalities will fall subject to the state of emergency?

The state of emergency will apply in the border zone, plus five-kilometre-wide territory bordering the border zone; it will not cover the entire territory of the municipality. The border municipalities are: Šalčininkai, Druskininkai, Ignalina, Lazdijai, Švenčionys, Varėna and Vilnius district municipalities. The state of emergency will be also applicable in migrant accommodation centres in Medininkai, Kybartai, Vilnius, Pabradė, Rukla, and 200 m. area around the buildings. 

7. Will it be possible to enter the zone under the state of emergency?

Access to the border zone will not be possible unless authorised by the SBGS. No authorisation will be required for those who reside and possess immovable property in this zone, but they will be required to have an identity document and a residence declaration certificate or real estate ownership documents. Access to the zone under the state of emergency (five-kilometre-wide territory from the border zone into the depth of the country) will not be restricted, however, checks are possible in this zone for the detection of smuggled migrants. Access to accommodation facilities under the state of emergency will be subject to the rules governing their operation.

8. Will local residents need to have authorisation for entry to and movement within the area under the state of emergency?

No authorisation will be required for local residents, but they will have to carry with them an identity document and a residence declaration certificate or real estate ownership documents.

9. How can authorisation be obtained for access to the area under the state of emergency?

Authorisation will only be required for movement within the five-kilometre-border zone from the Lithuania-Belarus border; access to this area will not be restricted for those who reside and those who possess immovable property in this area. Other individuals will be required to hold authorisation from the SBGS to access this area. Access to accommodation facilities under the state of emergency will be subject to the rules governing operation of these facilities.

10. What would be eligible reasons to apply to the SBGS for authorised access to the area under the state of emergency?

Those who do not reside and do not possess immovable property in the border zone under the state of emergency will have to have an important reason to be granted access to that area. Each application will be assessed on case-by-case basis.

 11. Can NGOS enter the area under the state of emergency?

Each NGO will have to obtain authorisation from the State Border Guard Service (SBGS) to have access to the border zone. No authorisation is required to enter other areas. Access to foreigners’ accommodation facilities under the state of emergency will be subject to the rules governing operation of these facilities.

Last updated: 15-11-2021