March 5. 2024. 7:31

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Lithuanian government considers law on barring Russian travellers

The Lithuanian government wants the parliament to pass a separate law restricting travel of Russian and Belarusian citizens, something which is now imposed under a state of emergency resolution that needs to be periodically extended.

The cabinet is asking the parliament to discuss the matter under a fast-track procedure.

The state of emergency, which applies along the borders with Russia and Belarus, is now set to expire on March 16, but the government is asking the parliament to extend it for another month and a half, until May 2.

According to Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė, the state of emergency will remain in force until the parliament adopts the separate law on sanctions against Russian travellers.

“Then we can stop extending [the state of emergency],” she told the cabinet.

Under the state of emergency resolution, Lithuania currently does not accept visa applications from Russian and Belarusian citizens. Exceptions apply to diplomats, dissidents, employees of transportation companies, family members of EU citizens, and Schengen residence permit or long-stay visa holders.

If a national sanctions regime is established, it will not apply to businesses, because economic sanctions are decided at the EU level, according to the vice-minister.