Lithuania's Ministry of National Defence seeks broader mandate for the army when the country is not officially at war, the daily Lietuvos Rytas reports.
© DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

A proposal submitted by the ministry to the leadership of the parliamentary National Security and Defence Committee suggests that the army be able to operate without any special political procedures in case of appearance of "little green men", a term the ministry uses to define armed foreign nationals aiming to undermine the country's Constitutional grounds rather than pursuing criminal goals.

Furthermore, the Defence Ministry also speaks about "local governments" which make "decisions needed by Russia". According to the daily, this probably refers to the regions of Lithuania with large ethnic minority populations.

"This could also be some other similar vague actions in case of a Russian military transit train stalling in Lithuania," Defence Minister Juozas Olekas said to describe one of the forms of covert invasion.

In the minister's words, detailed proposals will come later, as the ministry is only stating that the army's role is currently too small, even in cases of a declared emergency.

"Our specialists say that even when the police gets support from the army, a soldier standing next to a police officer is not authorized to pull over a car. Consequently, if troops are involved in actions together with the forces of the interior system, they should at least have equal rights and opportunities," Olekas explained.

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