Lithuania hopes that the European Union's refugee resettlement scheme will be voluntary and will not be restricted to only migrants coming from the south.
Dalia Grybauskaitė
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Renaldas Vaisbrodas, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė's chief foreign policy adviser, says the Lithuania leader will present such a position at the European Council on Thursday.

"We hope to be able to agree during the general discussion that the sharing of refugees that will be carried out on the EU level will be voluntary and geographically neutral, i.e., refugees will be accepted not only from the south but also from the east, the Eastern Partnership. That way we would be able to balance," he told the Žinių Radijas news radio on Tuesday morning.

The Government of Lithuanian on Monday agreed that the country would be able to accept up to 250 refugees distributed by the European Commission, in a move aimed at resolving the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

"In this case, the president has also talked about the need to show solidarity … and mentioned the figure 250. We are glad that the government approved that figure," Vaisbordas said.

Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said on Monday that the decision on refugees was a political one, adding that no financial decisions on accepting refugees have been made yet.

"I think the European Council should hold a discussion on getting funds from the EU budget. There's one programme, and we hope to receive funding," he told the national radio LRT on Tuesday morning.

The European Commission has asked member states to accept 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next two years and also examine a share of the 40,000 asylum applications from Syrian and Eritrean citizens currently handled by Italy and Greece.

Brussels wants Lithuania to take in 207 refugees and process 503 asylum applications.

It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

D. Grybauskaitė: the EU will owe us

Lithuanian farmers will not receive the sort of direct grants from the EU as were promised already...

European Commission's proposal on direct payments to Lithuanian farmers "unacceptable": President Grybauskaitė

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said on Monday the European Commission 's proposals on...

Seimas discussed the future of the EU

At its siting, the Seimas held a discussion on the future of the European Union (EU), including the...

Lithuanian farmers to protest in Brussels over direct payments, equal treatment

Lithuanian farmers are to attend a protest in Brussels in December requiring higher direct payments...

Agreement on EU's next multiannual budget before mid-2019 tough to achieve: Lithuanian diplomat to EU

The European Union is facing tense negotiations on its next multiannual budget, and the goal to...