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Lithuanian Seimas approves extension of national sanctions against Russia and Belarus

Lithuanian Seimas approves extension of national sanctions against Russia and Belarus Seimas of Lithuania (wikipedia)
Author: Maria Kholina

The Lithuanian Seimas has approved a proposal to extend national sanctions against Russian and Belarusian citizens for another year and to strengthen scrutiny of Belarusians entering the country, according to Delfi.

Amendments to the law on restrictive measures were approved by consensus after submission. Now this issue will be discussed in the Seimas committees on national security and defense, and in foreign affairs.

Deputy Foreign Minister Jonas Survila, who presented the draft law and explained the reasons for the proposed extension of sanctions, noted that the circumstances and geopolitical situation from last year have not changed at all. Therefore, according to him, it is important to continue properly managing potential risks to the country's security.

"The aggression continues, civilians are being killed and injured, civilian infrastructure is under attack - you know this very well. Therefore, in response to the ongoing war and the fact that these actions have a dramatic impact not only on the security of Ukraine but also on the security of Europe and us, we are presenting this draft law," Survila said.

Changes in national sanctions

In addition to extending the restrictions until May 2, 2025, the project proposes to strengthen checks on Belarusian citizens crossing the Lithuanian border with a Schengen visa, which includes additional assessment and screening for potential risks. A similar procedure is already in place for Russian citizens.

The draft law also proposes to clarify the application of national sanctions to legal entities, providing restrictions for Russian entrepreneurs, regardless of whether they have temporary or permanent residency permits in Lithuania.

Additionally, the draft law aims to restrict the rights of legal entities to acquire real estate by assessing whether a Russian citizen is the beneficiary of a specific legal entity.

Lithuania's stance on sanctions against Belarus

Recently, the heads of customs services of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia agreed on unified control when implementing European Union sanctions against Russia and Belarus.

Also, earlier this year, Lithuania revoked the residency permit of the director of the "Belarus" sanatorium, Illya Efinanov, used by Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.

Furthermore, in November, it was announced that Lithuania would impose fines for non-compliance with international and national sanctions.