Lithuania may bring in 40-50 refugees this year

“We are ready to receive a small number of refugees this year. (…) I’d think about 40-50 people this year before January 1,” Government Vice-Chancellor Rimantas Vaitkus, the head of the commission for the coordination and integration of foreigners in need of asylum, told BNS.

“We do not have a lot of time, as the first group of people may be arriving in a few weeks,” he added.

In Vaitkus’ words, the commission agreed to revise the legal acts that may hinder smooth resettlement of refugees within one week. Municipalities will be required to submit their offers for refugees by October 7.

He also said that migrant reception teams would be set up to take care of refugee transport, health checks, identification of needs, etc. After receipt of a permit to stay in Lithuania, the refugees will be placed at the Rukla Refugee Reception Center and start learning the Lithuanian language there, Vaitkus added. In his words, the stay of refugees there should be as brief as possible before moving on to municipalities.

The plan is to cover the costs of specialist services from the European Union‘s (EU) money earmarked for refugee integration.

Lithuania has committed itself to resettling 1,105 refugees from countries, such as Syria, Iraq and Eritrea, within two years.

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