Preparing to welcome Ukrainians: 11,000 accommodation places already available

Maidan Nezalezhnosti in Kyiv. Photo Ruslanas Iržikevičius

As Lithuania prepares to take in refugees from Ukraine, 11,000 accommodation places have already been secured in municipalities, and they would be allowed to work immediately, representatives of ministries told a meeting of the Seimas Human Rights Committee on Friday, reported.

Deputy Interior Minister Vitalijus Dmitrijevas said that the figures on the availability of accommodation for Ukrainians are constantly changing. Currently, there are already 11,000 accommodation places in municipalities, not counting civic initiatives where people offer their flats and other existing accommodation.


“The numbers are changing every day. There are currently about 11,000 accommodation places on offer, you should understand that these are different buildings, both former schools and dormitories. Some municipalities have separated the better facilities and the secondary numbered facilities. (…) We have secured that figure of 11,000, and another possibility is the civic initiative, which has been proposed and the residents have been asked to declare and report on the premises,” said the Vice-Minister.

According to Mr Dmitrijevas, the refugees are planning to arrive via the border with Poland, and two welcome points have already been set up at the border in the Lazdijai district and in the Kalvarija municipality, where riflemen and border guards are on duty.


The refugees would then be sent to two registration centres in Alytus, where they would be provided with temporary accommodation and meals for up to three days, and then distributed among the accommodation places offered by the municipalities.

“We would plan to carry out migration procedures in those facilities in Alytus and, if necessary, there would be temporary accommodation for up to three days, with food,” the Vice-Minister informed.


He confirmed that there is no news of any refugees from Ukraine, but it is possible that people who arrived on their own stayed with relatives or acquaintances.

Ana Selčinskienė, Chancellor of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, said that the authorities would first of all take care of the accommodation and feeding of the newcomers, for which funds would be made available from the state reserve next week to take in 10 000 Ukrainians.


“As regards the possibility to work, the Ministry of the Interior has informed that it will sign a visa procedure which will provide that people who arrive under the visa-free regime will be able to start working from the first day, and the Employment Service is working with the municipalities and employers,” the Chancellor informed.

Russia launched a multi-pronged invasion of Ukraine on Thursday and earlier this week Moscow recognised the independence of separatist regions in eastern Ukraine.


On Friday, attacks on Kyiv began.
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