Lithuanian police on short “rations”

AFP Photo / Petras Malukas
For some, the crisis drawbacks are a salary decrease or credit problems. For the Lithuanian police it’s … the lack of special equipment for crowd control.

There are fears Lithuanian police may fail to cope with a new wave of demonstrations in the country.

Telegraf.lv writes that during this year’s demonstrations, the Lithuanian police forces used up too many teargas grenades as well as other special devices, while the authorities have so far failed to ‘refill the store’.

”After the January events, the police asked the interior ministry to devote more funds to buying new equipment. The ministry made the request to the government, but the police never saw the money,” Lithuanian police commissioner general, Vizgirdas Telichenas, told Telegraf.lv.

Acoording to Telichenas, the police have been told that “given the current crisis, the chances of purchasing all the necessary equipment are very small’.

”All that we have at our disposal now is a fair supply of rubber bullets, as well as five gas grenades. In case of new riots in Lithuanian cities, the police will be simply unarmed,” said Telichenas.

Early in 2009, near-neighbors Estonia acquired a water-cannon from Austria for their state police, something the local constabulary had been dreaming about ever since the Bronze Soldier’s removal was followed by major unrest in the country. The Lithuanian police could always send a request to Estonia to borrow their new gadget if they need help to disperse a crowd.