On Tuesday, President of the Republic of Lithuania, Gitanas Nausėda, met with Minister of National Defense, Arvydas Anušauskas, and Chief of Defense, Lieutenant General Valdemaras Rupšys, to discuss the involvement of military forces in case of emergency.
The President welcomed the amendments to the Law on the Organization of the National Defence System and Military Service and amendments to the Statute on the Use of Military Force, laying down specific powers to be acquired by military forces during emergencies and the conditions for the acquisition of these powers as presented by Minister of Defense, Arvydas Anušauskas, at the meeting.
“The amendments to the laws will allow the troops to contribute effectively to the protection of the borders of the Republic of Lithuania and, if necessary, to carry out other important assignments, such as ensuring order in places where irregular migrants are accommodated. I hope that the Parliament meets for an extraordinary session next week and adopts these pieces of legislation as a matter of urgency,” the President said.
Gitanas Nausėda recalled that the urgent need to give more powers to the troops so that they can start effectively contributing to the fight against illegal migration, was discussed at the meeting with the leaders of political parties last week.
“Lithuania must protect its borders to the maximum extent possible, using all the resources needed, including the military force,” President Nausėda said.
According to the President’s assessment, the extension of the troops’ mandates at this stage should be sufficient to manage the emergency. President Nausėda would consider declaring a state of emergency in the event of failure by the Parliament to adopt the amendments to the laws for whatever reason, or if the measures envisaged prove to be insufficient to ensure public order.
Lithuanian military forces already provide support to the Ministry of the Interior in patrolling the border area, building a fence, and installing camps for irregular migrants. The President, the Minister of Defense and the Chief of Defense discussed the possibilities to further expand this support with part of the additional forces allocated to further installation of the razor concertina wire.