The European Commission on Wednesday suggested relocating up to 710 refugees to Lithuania in a move aimed at resolving the Mediterranean migrant crisis.
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Under the EC proposal, 302 refugees would be moved to Lithuania from Italy, 201 would arrive from Greece and 207 from third countries.

Under the Commission's previous proposal, Lithuania would be obliged to accept 207 refugees and process 503 asylum applications that are mainly received by Greece and Italy, Giedrius Sudikas, a spokesman for the European Commission Representation in Lithuania, told BNS.

Lithuanian institutions would decide whether to satisfy such applications.

The refugees are mostly Syrians who are brought from refugee camps in the Middle East under an agreement with the UN Refugee Agency.

So far, EU member states have accepted refugees voluntarily and their asylum applications have been examined by the countries they came to.

The quotas have been allocated using criteria like a country's population, economic state, the level of unemployment and the number of previously-accepted refugees.

The Commission's proposal is aimed at reducing the existing burden on Southern European countries in dealing with refugees from Africa.

Prime minister: Too much

Lithuania is not ready to accept so many refugees as the European Commission suggests, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said on Wednesday.

"At the moment, we are definitely not ready to accept so many," he told journalists in Vilnius, asked whether Lithuania could accept up to 710 refugees.

"We have discussed that with ministers and are drafting a government resolution saying that we can accept 30-40 refugees," he said.

BNS
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