The Lithuanian Seimas Will Restrict the Right to Temporary Residence in the Country for Belarusians
Chairman of the Lithuanian Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense Laurynas Kasčiūnas has prepared amendments that could limit the ability of recently arrived Belarusian citizens to obtain temporary residence permits in Lithuania.
This information is reported by LRT.
According to the Lithuanian parliamentarian, the necessary initiative will be registered in the Lithuanian Seimas next week. At the same time, according to Kasčiūnas, the new measures will not apply to Belarusians who have suffered repression from the regime of Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko.
"It is very important to emphasize that we continue to support the humanitarian corridor. That is, if these are genuinely human rights defenders, people repressed by the Belarusian regime, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be able to provide such a humanitarian corridor. And regarding temporary residence - we are making one amendment - for qualified labor," Kasčiūnas noted.
It is worth noting that according to the director of the Lithuanian State Security Department Darius Jauniškis, the activity of Belarusian special service agents in the country has significantly increased recently.
Jauniškis also noted that the number of Belarusian citizens seeking to move to live in Lithuania has increased significantly in the last three years. According to the Lithuanian law enforcement officer, the two main factors can be considered as the Belarusian revolution in 2020 and the beginning of the war in Ukraine by Russia.
"Each of these events made Belarusians knock on the doors of Vilnius," Jauniškis believes.
Currently, there are about 60,000 citizens of Belarus in Lithuania. According to the State Security Department, 8 out of 10 Belarusians are considered economic migrants, while all others are classified as opposition members. At the same time, along with newly arrived Belarusian migrants, more and more agents of Belarusian special services appear in the country.
"With such a trend, if 17,000 come here annually for work visas or temporary residence permits, calculate - by 2025, we will have about 100,000. This, I would say, is such a significant force. Regardless of what it is, institutions will obviously reach a point, a red line, where we will not be able to do everything right," said Darius Jauniškis, director of the State Security Department.
Despite the claims by some politicians that the Lithuanian Security Service is capable of checking every asylum seeker, Jauniškis emphasizes that there are no exact guarantees. However, the situation may become more controlled if the entry and stay conditions in Lithuania for Belarusian citizens are strengthened, as was done earlier for Russian citizens.