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377 Belarusian citizens have been allowed to come to Lithuania on humanitarian grounds but only 82 have used the opportunity so far, and another 32 Belarusian have asked for asylum upon arrival to Lithuania, the Interior Ministry told BNS on Thursday.
Protestas Minske
Protestas Minske
© Itar-Tass / Scanpix

"I signed another order late last night, so a total of 377 permits have been issued to come to Lithuania on humanitarian grounds. (…) People have taken care of permits but have not mad up their minds yet to leave the country," Interior Minister Rita Tamasuniene told the national ratio LRT on Thursday.

In her words, Lithuania does not need to take care of accommodation and food for incoming Belarusians that much any more as non-governmental organizations active in Lithuania and Belarus do that.

"Therefore, the state doesn’t allocate a lot of funds for either food or any other additional funds now as people who apply for permits usually already declare having where to stay, where to live in our country," the minister said.

"If there's a situation that a person has nowhere to live, then the State Border Guard Service takes care of it and the person gets accommodation immediately and other aforementioned services are provided," Tamasuniene said.

The minister also noted that there are over 20,000 Belarusians having work or Schengen visas, and their number is growing as more Belarusians than usual stay in Lithuania for education or work related reasons.

The Lithuanian Cabinet introduced an exception for Belarusian to come to Lithuania for special humanitarian reasons in the middle of August after the Belarusian regime launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests.

Soon after the presidential election in Belarus, former opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya arrived in Lithuania.

Belarusians willing to come to Lithuania for humanitarian reasons need to turn to the Lithuanian Embassy in Belarus for a Schegen visa and provide information confirm the humanitarian reason.

BNS
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