The Lithuanian government plans to clarify the legal regulation of martial law to define in more detail the competences of the leaders, the composition of the armed forces and the use of special measures under a state of war.
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The Defense Ministry says it has drafted legislative amendments that would help ensure a smooth transition from a peacetime legal regime to a wartime one, fast decision-making and smooth functioning of public authorities and economic entities.

The bill provides for launching armed defense immediately after the signing of the respective presidential decree or Seimas resolution without waiting for the document to be made public and take effect, as it is now.

The State Border Guard Service, the VIP Protection Department, the Public Security Service and military intelligence officers would automatically become part of the armed forces. The current law requires the commander-in-chief to sign the respective order.

The proposed amendments also give a stricter definition of guerilla activities in an effort to prevent robbing gangs from disguising as partisans.

The bill would also give some additional powers to the president. The law would be supplemented by provisions that the head of state adopts state defense decisions binding on authorities, coordinates diplomatic measures for state defense and sets the needs and priorities for intelligence information.

It would also specify the powers of the government, the defense minister and the chief of defense. For example, the chief of defense would be able to prohibit the use of electronic communications and the operation of civilian aircraft and ships. These issues are not covered in the existing legislation

The Cabinet is scheduled to discuss the draft amendments on Wednesday. If approved, the package will go to the Seimas

BNS
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