EU foreign and defense ministers on Monday agreed to launch a naval mission to prevent the inflow of illegal immigrants and also tackling the problem of migration from the south.
© AP/Scanpix

"We managed to agree on the operation, on the European Union's naval mission in the Mediterranean Sea, and it will very much depend on the mandate given by the UN Security Council. To save time, these processes will take place simultaneously, and Lithuania will take an active part in both of them. (…) The mission will be aimed at blocking those channels of illegal immigration to Europe and also finding an antidote to the causes of it," Linkevicius told BNS by phone from Brussels on Monday night.

Under the plan, the EU naval mission would be launched in June, and would involve military and intelligence ships stationed off Libyan coast to combat rising numbers of migrants risking their lives to get into Europe.

Libya's request to resolve this issue at the Security Council would be really helpful, Linkevicius said.

"Libya's request would be really desirable. But the existing situation in Libya is very unstable (…) and we need to work hard to get the country's approval. We really don’t want to tackle this issue without the opinion of the country where certain action would be taken. This is only one of the aspects. But we hope to reach agreement over the course of this month," the Lithuanian foreign minister said.

A series of accidents in the Mediterranean Sea this year, when hundreds of migrants from North Africa drowned trying to reach Europe on overcrowded and unsafe ships, attracted the international community's attention to the problem of illegal immigration from the south.

The European Commission plans to draft legislation by the end of this year, introducing quotas, based on various criteria, for EU member states to accept a certain number of refugees. Lithuanian would be expected to accept 207 refugees.

BNS
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuanians have better opinion about EU than other countries – EP survey

Lithuanians have a favorable opinion about the European Union and the country's EU membership. But...

Lithuanian president, EU leaders to discuss stalling Brexit in Brussels

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė is on Wednesday leaving for Brussels to meet with other EU...

Brussels preparing for talks with Russia on Baltic power systems

The European Commission is getting ready to start consultations with Russia over the switching of...

MEP Antanas Guoga: Before regulating any new technology first, we need to educate about it

Today, 03th of October, European Parliament voted in favour of the motion for a resolution on...

Agrimin sees gradual increase in direct payments to farmers as realistic

As Lithuania seeks that direct payments to its farmers reach the EU -wide average level after 2020,...