Lithuania will triple the speed of processing asylum applications from incoming migrants

Lithuanian authorities have decided to speed up three times the processing of applications for asylum in the EU for migrants arriving from Belarus

Lithuania will triple the speed of processing asylum applications from incoming migrants

Migrants seek asylum in the EU immediately after illegal crossing of the Belarusian-Lithuanian border. Minister of Internal Affairs of the Baltic States Agne Bilotaite said that “it has been instructed to approve the procedure for processing of asylum applications within ten days. At the moment, the deadline for such applications is 30 days.

In addition, Vilnius counts on the assistance of the European Union to combat the influx of illegal migrants into the territory of Lithuania, reports Delfi.lt. This statement was made by Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda during a joint press conference with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. According to the Lithuanian leader, the country has faced an “unprecedented migration pressure”.

“In this situation, the role and assistance of EU agencies in curbing the flow of illegal migrants and strengthening the protection of the EU’s external borders is important. We therefore hope that EU agencies will provide the necessary assistance – both in strengthening border security with Belarus and in negotiating with countries from which illegal migrants originate”, –  said Nauseda.

For his part, Charles Michel promised the Belarusian authorities to help in negotiations with the authorities of the countries of origin of illegal migrants. In particular, Michel promised to raise the issue in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kazimi.

“We will also contact other countries where migrants come from to see how we can expand cooperation with them”, –  the EU president assured.

In the past 24 hours alone, 131 illegal migrants have been detained in Lithuania. Most of the newcomers – 68 – this time were detained at the outpost in the Varėna district. 22 migrants were detained in Druskininkai municipality, Ignalina district and Pukai outpost. Migrants were detained in Švenčenka and Šalčininkai districts. Most of the detainees were undocumented. Most of the illegal immigrants came from African countries – Congo, Cameroon, Guinea, some indicated that they were Iraqi citizens.

Illegal migrants were placed in Alytus, Ignalisa, Varėna and Lazdijai districts, as well as in the Border Guard School in Medininkai, in Pabrada (Foreigners’ Registration Centre). Juvenile migrants who came without an adult were transferred to the Refugee Centre in Rukla. All detainees are tested for Covid-19 and are kept in isolation until the result is available. Asylum requests are handed over to the Migration Department. Altogether 1363 illegal immigrants have been detained so far, which is 17 times more than during the whole of last year. Due to the endless flow of illegal migrants, Lithuania has declared a national emergency situation.

Lithuania shares 1,070 km of the external border of the Schengen Area, which coincides with the external border of the European Union. The longest part of the border of the Baltic States (679 kilometres) falls on Belarus.

Let us remind, that on the previous day Lithuanian Ministry of Interior announced it was considering the possibility to involve the army to resolve the situation on the border with Belarus.

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