The first group of refugees will be relocated to Lithuania from Italy and it could happen as early as this year, the Baltic country's Interior Vice-Minister Elvinas Jankevičius says.
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"It might be so that the first refugees will come as early as at the end of this year. The first ones will be from Italy, w can confirm that," Jankevičius told BNS on Monday. "We don’t want the first group to be very large. That would be from 50 to 100 people, and the reason is obvious as the first time is more difficult."

According to the vice-minister, negotiations are now underway via the Lithuanian Embassy in Italy on Lithuanian representatives' first visit to refugee centers in Italy as the Lithuanian side wants the visit to take place as early as next week.

Representatives of the Lithuanian government want to assess Italy's initial selection as well as meet with representatives of international nongovernmental organizations. Once all organizational questions are answered, selection specialists will be sent to the refugee centers in Italy.

The Government of Lithuania plans to set up an inter-institutional commission to coordinate the relocation and integration of refugees.

Lithuania has agreed to take in 1,105 refugees from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea over the next two years, to be relocated from Hungary, Greece and Italy.

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