Refugees must be helped closer to home, not allowed into Europe – Grybauskaitė

Dalia Grybauskaitė
AP / Scanpix

“We must help with food, through various United Nations programmes. The refugees must be helped de facto in camps as closer to their countries as possible, rather than passively take in as many come, since we do not know who is coming, the level of control is insufficient,” Grybasukaitė told LRT radio on Monday morning, before leaving for a visit to Slovenia.

She rejected “automatic” quotas to distribute refugees among EU states, saying that Lithuania’s position on the refugee crisis matches that of Slovenia, Croatia, and Central European nations.

“First, Europe’s external borders must be secured and only then can we talk about solidarity and resettlement. Before that happens, any talk about it [refugee quotas] is pointless and does nothing to solve the situation,” Grybauskaitė said.

“We must coordinate our opinions and interests and do it every day, because the situation is changing every day and not always for the better,” the Lithuanian president said about cooperating with Central European countries that have been opposing Germany’s push to take in more refugees from the Middle East.

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