Lithuania extends state of emergency on border with Belarus until mid-January

  • 2021-12-07
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Lithuanian parliament on Tuesday extended the existing state of emergency on the border with Belarus until midnight on January 14, 2022, amid the continuing migration crisis. 

The resolution, passed with 102 votes in favor, no votes against and no abstentions, keeps the state of emergency in place along the Belarusian border stretch and five kilometers inland.

Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, the speaker of the Seimas, told the parliament that "the threats that led to the introduction of these measures to safeguard national security and public order are still present". 

The state of emergency was declared on November 10 and was set to expire on December 9.

The government's original proposal called for imposing the legal regime on the border with Poland, too, but the draft parliamentary resolution was amended on Tuesday before it was put to vote.

Cmilyte-Nielsen said the decision was made "in light of proposals from political groups, given that it is not a necessary provision at this stage", adding that "it will be amended if necessary".

Prime Minister Ingrida Simonyte and Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite confirmed that it had been decided not to declare a state of emergency on the border with Poland for the time being, adding that the government might return to the issue in the future.