Government agrees on state of emergency to go into effect


2021 11 09


In response to the complicated situation on the Poland-Belarus border, the Government has endorsed a proposal by the Ministry of the Interior regarding the state of emergency with effect from 10 November.

Considering the criminal actions from the Belarus regime and its hybrid attacks in Poland and the emerging threats to public peace, a state of emergency has been planned for the entire border section of the Republic of Lithuania with the Republic of Belarus and five kilometres from it, including also the temporary accommodation places for migrants: in Kybartai, Medininkai, Naujininkai, Rukla, and Pabradė, and 200 m around these buildings. The state of emergency has been planned for the duration of a month.

‘Seeing the events organised by the Belarus regime at the Polish border, we well understand the imminence of such threat in Lithuania. We also draw a direct parallel between the border events and the unrest in accommodation places for irregular migrants in Lithuania. This complex of threats happens to challenge our constitutional order, the public peace, and national security. We are doing everything we can to defend and protect our border. We will not have the integrity of Lithuania violated’, says Minister for the Interior Agnė Bilotaitė.

The Lithuania-Belarus border is at the highest level of preparedness with mobilised officers and redeployed troops. The Lithuanian authorities are cooperating closely with the Polish Border Guard Service, the European Police Office (Europol), and the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex. To date, 73 km of concertina barrier has been built on the Lithuania-Belarus border.

The EU institutions and their leaders see the actions of the Belarus regime as a hybrid attack on the entire EU. Lithuania’s initiative on changes in EU migration policy has been supported by 14 EU Member States.

The state of emergency will provide for the closure of the state border, with only authorised access to emergency areas; communication means as well as gathering possibilities in migrant accommodation areas will be restricted, so will the entry of foreigners. This also means a more rapid mobilisation of the troops, where necessary.

The state of emergency has still to be approved by the Seimas.