By Matthew Roscoe • 09 November 2021 • 17:24
Lithuania has declared a state of emergency hours after gunfire broke out at the border with Belarus.
The state of emergency, which is effective from midnight tonight, has been called in Lithuania after gun violence broke out at the border with Belarus where hundreds of migrants have been attempting to force their way into the country.
The emergency measures will now allow border guards to use “proportional physical violence” and “mental coercion” to prevent migrants from entering Lithuania, according to the Express.
The decision made in parliament was backed by 122 MPs voting in favour with only one voting against and will be in place until December 10.
Speaking to LRT TV on Monday, November 8, Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė said: “First, I must say that the situation on our border is stable and under control. But as we observe what is happening on the Belarusian-Polish border, we have to be prepared for different scenarios.
The state of emergency “restrictions on movement along the border, plus five kilometres, restrictions on assembly, restrictions on communication in migrant accommodation centres and, of course, a greater involvement of the Armed Forces”, the minister said.
“We believe that this decision is proportional to the situation today,” Bilotaitė added.
The spokesman of the Lithuanian State Border Protection Service (VSAT), Giedrius Miszutis, informed the media that today, November 9, around 170 attempts had already been made by the migrants to illegally cross the border between Lithuania and Belarus.
According to VSAT, 73 attempts were made the previous day.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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