VILNIUS - The state of emergency in Lithuania has been extended until mid-September due to Russia's military aggression in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, 80 Lithuanian lawmakers voted in favor of the draft Seimas resolution, seven voted against it and 28 abstained.
Those against the extension said they didn’t understand the need for the whole country to be placed under this regime, arguing that it would be sufficient in the border area only.
Social Democrat Algirdas Sysas said he saw no need for a country-wide state of emergency: "The arguments for introducing a state of emergency in the whole country are to ban the rebroadcasting of Russian TV channels, which is what the communication watchdog is for and it can ban anything. But nobody will probably go and removing the satellite dishes off houses. Those who really want to watch propaganda program have satellite dishes and can use them. And no state of emergency will change that".
Presenting the state of emergency motion earlier this week, Speaker of the Seimas Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen said that the threat to public order was not going down, amid Russia's ongoing military aggression in Ukraine as well as crimes against humanity and war crimes, adding that that they are only increasing in scale.
Moreover, she said, Russia is continues with its open and intensifying rhetoric of threats against the countries that support Ukraine.
The state of emergency was introduced in Lithuania on February 24 after Russia started its war against Ukraine and was set to remain until June 29 under the existing resolution. It has now been extended until September 15.
The ban on the rebroadcasting of Russian and Belarusian TV programs, holding meetings in support of Russia's war against Ukraine and other restrictions will remain in force in Lithuania.