Lithuanian ministry moves to set up protection zones around strategic facilities

“The main goal is to set up zones where it would be possible to assess a potential investor’s compliance with the national security criteria. There is no legal ground to initiate this (procedure) now. Thus, there are no reasons for rejecting an investment when suspicions arise or are confirmed,” Deputy Transport Minister Arijandas Šliupas told BNS.

According to Šliupas, the ministry’s proposal, as well as the president-initiated amendments to a law on enterprises of strategic importance, comes after a recent scandal over a planned investment project by a Russian-owned company near Šiauliai airport, where NATO’s air policing mission is based.

“This resolution, just like the law, is a consequence of this. The state must have a tool to check (potential investors),” he said, stressing that the proposed measure will make it possible, but not obligatory, to check all potential investors.

The ministry proposes that the list of protection zones should include the Seaport of Klaipėda and areas near key roads, traffic control installations and polders, as well as areas around the airports of Vilnius, Kaunas and Palanga (within 100 meters from their boundaries), the Šiauliai military airport (within 1.5 kilometers from the boundary) and other airfields (within 100 meters from their runways).

It also wants to protect areas around certain railway stations, railway bridges, the Kaunas railway tunnel and railway sections in the border areas.

The measure will only apply to new investors, Šliupas said.

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