The Seimas has introduced additional restrictive measures aimed at ensuring the interests of the national security of Lithuania
Press release, 4 April 2023
In response to the military aggression in Ukraine and in order to protect the interests of Lithuania’s national security and foreign policy, the Seimas approved the Law on Imposing Restrictive Measures Regarding the Military Aggression Against Ukraine. The Law defines the content of restrictive measures; entities subject to the restrictive measures and the criteria applied to these entities; the period of application of restrictive measures; review of the duration of the restrictive measures; exemptions from the implementation of restrictive measures and other provisions.
‘We have worked out a strong instrument for imposing national sanctions. This instrument will ensure that the Russian and Belarusian societies assume their responsibility for the war and aggression in Ukraine and that potential threats and risks to the national security of Lithuania are mitigated,’ said Laurynas Kasčiūnas, Chair of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defence, to the Press Office of the Office of the Seimas.
Article 3 of the Law on Imposing Restrictive Measures Regarding the Military Aggression Against Ukraine lays down the following restrictive measures:
- The receipt of visa applications from Russian and Belarusian nationals at the Lithuanian visa services abroad (except where this is mediated by the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the receipt of applications for the issue of national visas via an external service provider abroad shall be suspended;
- The receipt of applications of Russian nationals for the issue of a temporary residence permit in Lithuania via an external service provider abroad (except for the cases mediated by an institution authorised by the Government) and in Lithuania shall be suspended, unless Russian nationals hold a valid Schengen or national visa issued by the Lithuanian visa service abroad or in Lithuania, or a residence permit issued in Lithuania, or a residence permit issued by another EU Member State;
- Russian nationals crossing the external border of the European Union into the territory of Lithuania shall be subject to an additional detailed individual screening on the grounds of the threat their entry poses to Lithuania’s national security, public policy, public order, domestic security, public health or international relations, unless they meet the conditions for entry laid down in the Schengen Borders Code and at least one of the additional conditions laid down in the law (as set out in the notice below);
- The receipt of applications of Russian and Belarusian nationals for the status of an e-resident of Lithuania is suspended; and the validity of valid electronic identification certificates and qualified certificates for electronic signature entered in the e-resident’s electronic identification and electronic signature means issued to Russian and Belarusian nationals shall be suspended, unless Russian and Belarusian nationals hold a permanent or temporary residence permit in Lithuania;
- The right of Russian nationals and legal entities established or controlled by them, as set out in the Law on Competition, to acquire, by the right of ownership, immovable property located in the territory of Lithuania shall be suspended, unless a Russian national has been issued a temporary residence permit in Lithuania or a permanent residence permit in Lithuania or where a Russian national acquires the right of ownership to immovable property by inheritance;
- The right of Russian and Belarusian nationals to import/export cash in the Ukrainian Hryvnia to/from the territory of Lithuania shall be suspended.
The restrictive measure referred to in Article 3(2) of the Law shall apply from 1 July 2023 until 2 May 2024.
The Law shall enter into force on 3 May 2023 and shall remain in force until 2 May 2024.
If deemed necessary, the Government may, at least 3 months prior to the expiry of the period of application of restrictive measures, address the Seimas with a recommendation to extend the period of their validity.
The Law was adopted by 76 votes in favour, 13 votes against, and 34 abstentions.
The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania stipulates that laws adopted by the Seimas come into force after they are signed and officially promulgated by the President of the Republic, unless the laws themselves establish a later date for their entry into force (Article 70). Within ten days of receiving a law adopted by the Seimas, the President of the Republic either signs and officially promulgates the law or, upon reasonable grounds, refers it back to the Seimas for reconsideration (Article 71).
Russian nationals shall have the right to enter the territory of the Republic of Lithuania through the external border of the European Union if they meet at least one of the following conditions established in Article 3, that is where they:
1) hold a residence permit issued by one of the Schengen States, the EU Member States, the states of the European Economic Area, or the Swiss Confederation;
2) hold a long-stay national visa issued by one of the Schengen States applying the Schengen acquis in full;
3) are subject to the facilitated transit of persons between the territory of the Russian Federation and the Kaliningrad Region of the Russian Federation in accordance with the procedure established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and coordinated with the State Border Guard Service under the Ministry of the Interior of Lithuania and hold a Facilitated Transit Document or a Facilitated Rail Transit Document;
4) hold a visa issued in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 810/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 establishing a Community Code on Visas (Visa Code), as amended, and:
(a) are family members of Lithuanian nationals (within the meaning of Article 2(26) of the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on the Legal Status of Foreigners);
(b) are family members of a national of an EU Member State, a state of the European Economic Area, or the Swiss Confederation (within the meaning of Article 2(4) of the Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners);
(c) are crew members employed in companies engaged in international carriage of goods and passengers or engaged in international carriage of goods and passengers to/from EU Member States or in transit through Lithuania, as well as seafarers and commercial ship crew members travelling to or returning from their place of employment on board a ship;
(d) enter Lithuania for humanitarian reasons and are family members of such persons (within the meaning of Article 2(26) of the Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners);
(e) enjoy immunities and privileges under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations;
(f) are Russian diplomatic couriers or ad hoc couriers who hold an official document proving their status and the delivery of diplomatic mail;
(g) other than those referred to in Articles 3(4)(4)(e) and 3(4)(4)(f), staff members of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, diplomatic representations or consular posts who travel for short stays for the purpose of providing professional or technical assistance to a Russian diplomatic representation in Lithuania or in transit through the territory of Lithuania to a Russian diplomatic representation or consular post accredited to an EU Member State, Schengen State, state of the European Economic Area, or the Swiss Confederation;
(h) make a single journey by a passenger train operated by Russia between the territory of the Russian Federation and the Kaliningrad Region in transit through the territory of Lithuania.
Press Office, Information and Communication Department, e-mail: [email protected]