LFGU leader against introducing state of emergency in Lithuania

  • 2021-07-27
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Ramunas Karbauskis, leader of the opposition Lithuanian Farmers and Greens Union, says he's against the idea of introducing a state of emergence over the migration crisis, having no doubt the LFGU group and the remaining parliamentary opposition will back it.

Karbauskis is convinced there are no conditions for a state of emergency right now as one of the necessary conditions for introducing one is any threat to the constitutional order, and "the fact that some 10 or 25 people held a protest cannot be compared to a state of emergency".

"Any lawyer can say they (migrants – BNS) will still be able to move under that state of emergency and we won’t be able to get them out, even if we had our army on the border. These are international commitments, international law. Therefore, I don’t understand what we are talking about in this situation. Do we want to silence those people, not to let them protest? If that's the goal, I will never support that," Karbauskis told BNS on Tuesday.

"I believe the question is not whether (the LFGU – BNS) will back that or not, simply, we cannot introduce a state of emergency under these circumstances," the added.

Karbauskis also said opposition leader Saulius Skvernelis, representing the LFGU, who spoke on Tuesday about the idea of introducing a state of emergency, had not coordinated this position either with him or other opposition groups.

"I don’t understand why Saulius Skvernelis spoke about that as the opposition leader as he had not spoken about this with any of the opposition groups. And, in general, that's his personal oponion and that should be clearly stated," Karbauskis said.

He urged the government to have an active conversation with local residents before moving migrants to their places of residents out of frontier stations.

Earlier in the day, the Lithuanian Interior Ministry proposed to the government to consider declaring a state of emergency in border municipalities, Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite said on Tuesday.

The government is currently discussing the proposal, according to the minister.

Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas told BNS earlier on Tuesday that he saw no grounds for declaring a state of emergency in the country, adding that the special legal status would not significantly help manage irregular migration challenges. 

There must be "a threat to the constitutional order" to warrant a state of emergency, according to Anusauskas.  

Laurynas Kasciunas, chairman of the parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defense, and Saulius Skvernelis, the parliamentary opposition leader, said earlier on Tuesday that a state of emergency could be declared due to the growing migration crisis. 

Under the law, a state of emergency is a special legal regime that allows temporarily restricting individuals' rights and freedoms, including declaring martial law. 

A state-level extreme situation is now declared in Lithuania because of the recent influx of illegal migrants.