The current restrictions against nationals of these two countries are effective until May, and as soon as this measure ends, the Ministry wants to extend it for another year, until 2025, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In addition to extending the current rules, the Ministry has proposed that the country also tighten some restrictions for Belarus nationals.
According to the Lithuanian National Television and Radio, in line with the newly made proposal, nationals of Belarus who enter the territory of Lithuania on a Schengen visa will be subject to a risk assessment.
Through this procedure, the Lithuanian authorities will carry out checks on Belarusians entering the country to assess whether they pose a threat to the country’s internal security, public order, and international relations, among others.
Moreover, the same source explains that in line with the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the border guard of the country will have the possibility to carry out further checks on Belarus nationals at the second line of control at checkpoints.
Russian nationals who enter Lithuania are already subject to this in-depth screening, meaning that not much will change for them as they will continue to be subject to the same rules as until now.
Lithuania already has stricter visa rules in place for nationals of both countries. Back in 2022, Lithuania decided to no longer issue visas to nationals of Russia due to the war in Ukraine.
Later on, the country also restricted the visa issuance for Belarusians, applying stricter requirements.
Despite Lithuania continuing to keep restrictions on visa issuance for Russians and Belarusians, certain exemptions apply.
In general, family members of Lithuanian citizens or family members of other EU citizens are not subject to restricted visa issuance rules.
Moreover, individuals involved in international transport and people who need to enter Lithuania for humanitarian reasons are exempt from stricter visa issuance rules.
As the Lithuanian National Television and Radio explains, the law on restrictive measures against nationals of these two countries was adopted last year. The same highlights that if the proposal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is passed, Russians and Belarusians will continue to face visa issuance and screening restrictions until May 2, 2025.