On December 13, 103 members of the Seimas voted for the so-called law on de-Sovietization. It should be signed by the Lithuanian president soon.
The law is expected to enter into force on May 1 next year. The website of the Lithuanian National Radio and Television LRT has reported this.
What does the de-Sovietization law mean?
The law will create a legal basis for removing symbols of totalitarianism and authoritarianism from public places in Lithuania, such as monuments, memorial objects, names of streets, squares, and other public places.
The mention of persons who were or are active participants in the invading authorities’ political, military, and repressive structures will also be prohibited.
Names of organizations, events, or dates that symbolize totalitarian or authoritarian regimes and their ideologies should also be removed from public places. Signs of military aggression by such authorities against another state, signs of the Soviet occupation of Lithuania in 1940-1941 and 1944-1990, and Nazi occupation in 1939-1944 will also be prohibited in public facilities.
The abovementioned prohibitions do not apply to museums, archives, or libraries when organizing exhibitions, informing the public about totalitarian and authoritarian regimes and their consequences, and using such objects and information for education, science, professional art, and collecting.
The Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Research Center or the municipal authorities will be able to recognize public objects promoting totalitarian or authoritarian regimes and their ideologies. A special interdepartmental commission must first present its assessment.
The General Director of the Genocide Center will have to decide no later than five working days after the conclusion of this commission to remove the public object or preserve it.
Currently, in Lithuania, only administrative responsibility is provided for the demonstration, distribution, and propaganda of the symbols of some totalitarian and authoritarian regimes.
However, since Moscow started the war in Ukraine, many municipalities have taken the initiative to dismantle statues, monuments, and other symbols of Soviet soldiers.
As a reminder, the Ministry of National Defense of Lithuania will purchase cold-weather clothing for approximately 25,000 Ukrainian servicemen. The ministry bought underwear and cold weather clothing from three Lithuanian companies for more than 2 million euros.