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2021.07.27 16:42

Lithuanian Interior Ministry calls for state of emergency in border areas

BNS2021.07.27 16:42

The Lithuanian Interior Ministry has proposed declaring a state of emergency in border municipalities due to the influx of irregular migration.

"Many factors need to be assessed, because this means active involvement of the Armed Forces. Therefore, the Interior Ministry cannot make such a decision on its own," Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė said on Tuesday, adding that the government is currently discussing the proposal.

Defence Minister Arvydas Anušauskas told BNS earlier on Tuesday that he saw no grounds for declaring a state of emergency in the country. The special legal status would not significantly help manage irregular migration, according to Anušauskas.

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

Read more: Scuffles break out as activists block road to would-be migrant camp in Lithuania

Laurynas Kasčiūnas, 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 of emergency can be introduced nationwide or in individual parts of the country. Currently, a state-level extreme situation is in place.


Lithuanian president sees no need to declare state of emergency

A state of emergency should be a last resort and there is no need for it now, President Gitanas Nausėda said on Tuesday.

"I am closely watching the situation and see that there are still much more measures the Interior Ministry and the State Border Guard Service could use to resolve problems,” he said.

"Therefore, I don’t see any need for that today," said Nausėda.

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