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Lithuania’s Entry Restrictions for Russians and Belarusians Might Extend

Lithuania’s parliament, the Seimas, recently passed a law that imposes entry restrictions on Russian and Belarusian citizens. These restrictions, in place until May 3rd of the following year, include limitations on obtaining Lithuanian visas, electronic resident status, and property ownership, with more severe conditions applied to Russian citizens. Temporary residence permits for Russians are also temporarily suspended. President Gitanas Nausėda and some lawmakers argue that Belarusians should face similar sanctions as Russians, but this issue remains a subject of debate.

The government is open to proposals for stricter measures as the initial implementation period unfolds. Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė stated that if necessary, the government would consider additional restrictions, offering flexibility in response to changing circumstances.

Public opinion in Lithuania is divided, with a “Baltijos tyrimai” survey showing that six out of ten Lithuanians support stricter conditions for Belarusians entering the country. The legislation reflects Lithuania’s response to ongoing geopolitical and humanitarian concerns, with the potential for diplomatic and security consequences in the region. The differing opinions among the public and political leaders highlight the complexity of the challenges Lithuania is facing.