EU and NATO member Lithuania said on Thursday it would impose a state of emergency after the Russian army’s air and ground attack on Ukraine.
Lithuania, a small former Soviet republic of 2.8 million people shares borders with Russia and Belarus.
“Today I will sign a decree imposing a state of emergency,” Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said after a meeting of the national defence council, adding that “Lithuania would request the activation of NATO’s Article 4, which provides for emergency consultations if a member of the alliance is threatened.
A similar request was made officially on Thursday morning by fellow NATO and EU member Poland, which shares a border with Ukraine.
The ambassadors of NATO’s 30 member countries were due to hold an emergency meeting in Brussels on Thursday morning, a spokesman for the Western defence alliance said.
After Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, NATO decided to deploy multinational battalions to Poland and the Baltic states, which have were recently been reinforced.