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Lithuanian military and civil servants banned from visiting China, Russia, Belarus off duty

Lithuanian military and civil servants banned from visiting China, Russia, Belarus off duty Photo: The Lithuanian government has banned its military from visiting Russia and Belarus (pixabay)

The government of Lithuania has banned military personnel and civil servants from visiting Russia, Belarus and China off duty, reports LRT.

As reported by the Ministry of Defense, the list of these countries was compiled based on the results of an assessment of risks and threats to national security.

"The national security strategy states that the Russian Federation, the Republic of Belarus, and the People's Republic of China pose threats to the security of Lithuania and its citizens, including espionage against Lithuania by the intelligence and security services of these countries," the draft resolution says.

According to the Ministry of Defense, the aforementioned countries collect information about Lithuanian citizens who have the right to access classified information, look for their vulnerabilities and seek to use them for recruitment on their territory or in third countries.

Among other things, the intelligence and security services of Russia and Belarus conduct interrogations and provocations of Lithuanian citizens who entered their territory.

In what cases will it be possible to visit the above countries

The government has also established cases and procedures that permit visits to foreign countries or listed territories only with permission.

It can be issued in case of extraordinary circumstances or the death of close relatives and spouses, during the exercise of parental or guardian rights and duties, as well as in matters of property rights that cannot be resolved in absentia.

At the end of last year, the Seimas adopted amendments to the law prohibiting military and statutory employees from traveling to unfriendly countries, and instructed the government to compile a list of such countries.

Lithuania's attitude towards Russia

The head of the State Security Department of Lithuania, Darius Jauniškis, said that the goal of the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is not only the defeat of Ukraine but also a long-term confrontation with the West.

In Lithuanian schools, the number of people willing to learn Russian as a second foreign language is decreasing. The government hopes that after 10 years such a choice will remain only in a few educational institutions.

Lithuania and Poland have also planned joint military exercise in the Suwalki corridor. The location of this zone is very vulnerable in case of theoretical Russian aggression on NATO's eastern flank.