Lithuanian parliamentarians have proposed to equate the black and orange ribbon of Saint George and ‘Z’, the symbol used to mark the vehicles of Russian forces in Ukraine, with Nazi and communist symbols.
MPs Monika Ošmianskienė and Linas Jonauskas have registered amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences and the Law on Assemblies, the ELTA news agency reported.
Distributing or displaying the Georgian ribbon and the Z symbol at meetings or other mass events are to be fined up to €500 according to the proposal. According to the MPs, the two symbols are used for propaganda and intimidation purposes by pro-Russian activists.
“For years, there has been talk about banning the Georgian ribbon. It has become a propaganda tool and a tool […] to provoke, divide, and antagonise people, a symbol of aggression and violence, which has nothing to do with honouring those who died in the Second World War,” said Jonauskas of the Social Democratic Party.
“The letter Z, which has become a symbol of the Russian army’s invasion, is already being used for intimidation and bullying,” he added.
Lithuanian law currently prohibits the distribution and display of Nazi Germany, the USSR, or the Lithuanian SSR flags and coats of arms, as well as the symbols of Nazi or Communist organisations, including the Nazi swastika, the Nazi SS sign, the Soviet hammer and sickle, and the Soviet red five-pointed star.