Lithuanian foreign minister criticises proposal to pick refugees by nationality

Linas Linkevičius
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

Chairman of the Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats (TS-LKD) MEP Gabrielius Landsbergis has proposed that Lithuania should negotiate with the European Commission not only on the number of refugees to accept but also on the possibility to choose refugees based on their country of origin. Landsbergis has also proposed that Lithuania should be allowed to pick who of the immigrants to accept.

Foreign Minister Linkevičius said during the Government’s hour at Parliament on Thursday that Lithuania would show solidarity with other EU member states. According to him, it is Lithuania’s duty to help solve the issue the best way it can. The number of refugees to be relocated will be determined based on Lithuania’s capability, so they could lead decent lives. The minister added that refugees were not imprisoned criminals, but people fleeing from terror. Therefore, it would be wrong to classify them by some characteristics – and it will not be done.

Linkevičius also said that the number of refugees to be relocated to Lithuania was proposed taking into account other factors besides the GDP and unemployment level. Refugees, he said, should also have a say in where they want to be relocated. According to Linkevičius, the number of refugees that has been mentioned by the media is being seriously considered and the Government will be the one to make a decision. Previously, both the foreign minister and the president said Lithuania could take in up to 250 refugees.

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