Lithuania plans to bring back Lithuanian citizens, people of Lithuanian descent and their families who live in the Crimean peninsula and Ukraine's eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk.
© Reuters/Scanpix

Around 30 families have already expressed their wish to settle in Lithuania, according to a government decree.

The Government Chancellery says the document is being prepared in view of "the serious security and humanitarian situation" in these regions. Crimea was annexed by Russia in March last year and the Luhansk and Donetsk regions have been engulfed in a conflict between government forces and pro-Russian separatists.

"The relocation of Lithuanian citizens, people of Lithuanian descent and their family members (…) would be possible if their integration into the country's life was ensured, including provision of accommodation, social payments, Lithuanian language classes, professional training and the territorial distribution of relocated persons," the Chancellery said.

The Lithuanian Embassy in Ukraine says request from around 30 families have been received so far to move them back to Lithuania. Every family consists of three to five people. All in all, around 10,000 people of Lithuanian descent live in Ukraine, and around 1,500 Lithuanian citizens are officially registered in Ukraine.

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