State Border Guard Service (Lithuania)
The State Border Guard Service is the organisation charged with controlling and maintaining the Lithuanian Border. The State Border Guard Service (hereinafter, the SBGS) falls under authority of the Ministry of the Interior, which supervises and controls the implementation of border guard policy.


Following the Declaration of independence
Act of Independence of Lithuania
The Act of Independence of Lithuania or Act of February 16 was signed by the Council of Lithuania on February 16, 1918, proclaiming the restoration of an independent State of Lithuania, governed by democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital. The Act was signed by all twenty...

 on February 16, 1918 the state had to ensure its border protection. This was a difficult task to fulfil, because the borders were changing (Lithuanian authority over the Klaipėda region
Klaipeda Region
The Klaipėda Region or Memel Territory was defined by the Treaty of Versailles in 1920 when it was put under the administration of the Council of Ambassadors...

 was restored, and a demarcation line was established on the border with Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

), and the bodies protecting the border were changing as well (the customs and patrol guards, militia and army).

The formation of the first border regiment was started on 1 February 1920. On 26 January 1922, the Lithuanian defence minister, Jonas Šimkus, issued an order designating 29 June as Border Regiment Day. At that time, border regiments protected the border, and the State Border Police was formed in the Klaipėda region on 18 June 1923. Later, border regiments, units of the Ministry of Defence
Ministry of Defense (Lithuania)
The Ministry of National Defence of the Republic of Lithuania was established in 1990. Its mission, according to its website, consists of: "Implementation of joint policy with NATO, cooperation with foreign countries in defence sector, representation of Lithuania by coordination of international...

, were disbanded, and the border police of the Ministry of the Interior
Ministry of the Interior (Lithuania)
The Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania is charged with the oversight of public safety, border protection, migration control, emergency response, public administration and governance, the civil service, and local and regional development initiatives...

 took over the protection of the state border on 1 January 1924. Before the first Soviet occupation, the number of Lithuanian border police was not large: 1,656 policemen in 1931 and 1,934 in 1933.

This strength was maintained until June 1940 when the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania. After that, some border guards were subject to political persecution, the border police was disbanded, and the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 took control of the Lithuanian border with Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Near the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the Soviets occupied Lithuania for the second time. Throughout their rule, they protected only the Lithuanian border with Poland. Together with its independence, Lithuania lost its state border protection system.

Fight for Independence 1990-1991

After Lithuania restored its independence on March 11, 1990, it was confronted with a task, which was as important as that in 1918. Lithuania had to ensure the protection and inviolability of its borders. By a resolution of 3 April 1990, the Supreme Soviet, Lithuanian parliament, assigned the Council of Ministers the task of establishing the Department of Defence thus initiating the formation of new state border guards. On 10 September 1990, the Government adopted a resolution with a view to forming services at the Ministry of Defence that were to ensure the economic protection of Lithuanian borders. On 15 October 1990, the Department of Defence formed a commission with mandate of enlisting personnel into the border guard service. Border guarding was given a legislative foundation when the Supreme Soviet passed the provisional law on the frontier guard service on 8 November 1990. In accordance with an order by the Department of Defence, border guards began to perform service at all of the 64 border crossing points on 19 November 1990.

Soviet security forces carried out a campaign of oppression and terror against unarmed Lithuanian border guards until the coupe d’etate was attempted in Moscow on 23 August 1991. The activity of OMON
OMOH is a generic name for the system of special units of militsiya within the Russian and earlier the Soviet MVD...

, Soviet paratroopers and their collaborators was terrifying: border guards’ premises were burnt and wrecked, cars stolen and bombed, and defenders of their homeland’s borders beaten and defamed. On 19 May 1991, Gintaras Žagunis, an officer at the Krakūnai border crossing point at the Lithuanian-Belarus border, was shot dead while on duty. Gintaras Žagunis fell victim to revenge by the Soviets and was the first border guard who lost his life after Lithuanian independence was restored. On 31 July 1991, Lithuania was horrified by a massacre at Medininkai where 7 defenders of the Lithuanian border were murdered.

From 1992 till nowadays

The Ministry of Defence issued an order by which the Frontier Guard Service was renamed as the State Border Guard Service, starting 6 August 1992. When the last Soviet soldier left Lithuania on 31 August 1993, the State Border Guard Service was already well established. On 18 July 1994, the Government adopted a resolution that re-structured the State Border Guard Service at the Ministry of Defence into the Border Police Department at the Ministry of the Interior. As during the period between the two world wars, guarding of the Lithuanian borders became a duty of the border police.

After the system of border guarding was restored, the legal status of the state border had to be defined and the border itself demarcated. The Treaty on Restoration of the State Border between the Republic of Lithuania and the Republic of Latvia was signed on 29 June 1993. It required a considerable diplomatic effort to conclude and sign a treaty on the state border with Belarus on 6 February 1995. A similar treaty was signed with Poland the same year. The treaty on delimitation of the state border between the Republic of Lithuania and the Russian Federation that was signed during a summit in Moscow on 24 October 1997, was probably the most outstanding achievement of Lithuanian diplomats.

On 1 April 1997, the border police was re-structured. 8 border police districts were either newly formed or re-organised. Of these, 7 districts guard the state border, and the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant
Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant
The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant is a closed two-unit RBMK-1500 nuclear power station in Visaginas, Lithuania. It was named after the nearby city of Ignalina...

 Security Unit secured the nuclear power plant near the town of Ignalina.

On 31 March 1999, the then Lithuanian minister of the interior, Stasys Šedbaras, issued an order to re-establish the celebration of the Border Guards’ Day. Lithuanian border guards celebrate their professional holiday on 29 June. The same year saw the first celebration of the Border Guards’ Day in Vilnius. In the Basilica of the Grand Cathedral, the first combat flags were sanctified and presented to four districts, Vilnius, Lazdijai, Coast Guard and Šiauliai. When the Border Guards’ Day was celebrated for the second time on 29 June 2000, combat flags were presented to further three districts, Pagėgiai, Ignalina and Varėna. Today, all of the districts that physically guard the state border have their combat flags.

On 10 October 2000, the Seimas
The Seimas is the unicameral Lithuanian parliament. It has 141 members that are elected for a four-year term. About half of the members of this legislative body are elected in individual constituencies , and the other half are elected by nationwide vote according to proportional representation...

 adopted the Law on the State Border Guard Service and addressed the Government with a proposal to re-organise the Border Police Department in six months. By its resolution of 22 February 2001, the Government decided to re-organise the Border Police Department into the State Border Guard Service at the Ministry of the Interior. When preparing for the re-organisation, a large number of legal acts were adopted which regulate the activity of the State Border Guard Service. Of these, the most prominent are the mentioned Law on the State Border Guard Service and the Law on the State Border and Protection Thereof. Prior to the re-organisation, the status of the Border Police Department and service in the border police were regulated by the laws on the police, on state service and others as well as by the Statute of Service in the System of the Interior. These legal acts were more about the general activity of the police. After the re-organisation was complete, the State Border Guard Service began to perform its border guard functions starting 1 May 2001.


Aviation Unit

A very interesting part of the Lithuanian Air Arms is the Aviation Unit of the Lithuanian State Border Guard Service. It has received new helicopters to patrol the EU external border (with Kaliningrad Oblast
Kaliningrad Oblast
Kaliningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia situated on the Baltic coast. It has a population of The oblast forms the westernmost part of the Russian Federation, but it has no land connection to the rest of Russia. Since its creation it has been an exclave of the Russian SFSR and then the...

 and Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...


Available aircraft in service:
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Aircraft
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Origin
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Type
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Entered service
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|Versions
! style="text-align: left; background: #aacccc;"|In service
| Eurocopter EC 120
| single-engine light utility helicopter
| 2002
| EC 120B
| 2
| Eurocopter EC 135
Eurocopter EC 135
The Eurocopter EC135 is a twin-engine civil helicopter produced by Eurocopter, widely used amongst police and ambulance services and for executive transport. It is capable of flight under instrument flight rules .-Development:...

| twin-engine light utility helicopter
| 2006
| EC 135T1
| 2
| Eurocopter EC 145
| twin-engine medium utility helicopter
| 2006
| EC 145
| 1
| Cessna 172 «Cutlass»
Cessna 172
The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is a four-seat, single-engine, high-wing fixed-wing aircraft. First flown in 1955 and still in production, more Cessna 172s have been built than any other aircraft.-Design and development:...

| single-engine utility aircraft
| 2001
| Cessna 172RG
| 1
Types recently retired from service:
  • Kamov Ka-26 «Hoodlum»   - operated 1992-2003 (3 ps.)
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