Government extends relocation of Lithuanian-origin people from Crimea, Eastern Ukraine

in Luhansk
Reuters / Scanpix

“Understanding the current situation in Ukraine, we are determined to continue supporting the country. We must ensure a possibility for our fellow nationals living there to safely return to their home country. Today’s situation in Ukraine shows that they truly need the assistance,” Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis said in the government’s press release.

The compilation of people for relocation has been extended until December 31 of 2017.

In making of the decision on Wednesday, the Cabinet took into account absence of improvement of the security situation in Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk regions, which are also in a poor humanitarian condition.

One family turned to the Lithuanian Embassy to Ukraine this year. Over the past two years, a total of 140 persons were relocated to Lithuania from Ukraine (34 in 2016 and 106 in 2015).

The government’s decision to move Ukrainians of Lithuanian origin affected by war in Donesk, Luhansk and Crimea back to Lithuania was made in late July of 2015. Upon return to Lithuania, the families are provided with temporary housing, social benefits and teaching of the Lithuanian language and profession.

Then calculations suggested that about 10,000 persons of Lithuanian origin lived in Ukraine, in addition to about 1,500 Lithuanian citizens registered officially.

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