Lithuania grants entry to 64 Belarusians fleeing persecution

Lithuania has so far granted entry to 64 Belarusians under the so-called humanitarian exception, Interior Minister Rita Tamašunienė said on Tuesday.

“Sixty-four permits have been issued to date, but not all of the Belarusian citizens have used them,” she told LRT RADIO. Belarusian nationals who do not hold a residency are not permitted to enter Lithuania due to coronavirus restrictions. Lithuania’s government granted the exception to Belarusians coming “for special humanitarian purposes” in mid-August after the Minsk regime started a brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Božena Zaborovska-Zdanovič, an adviser to the interior minister, told BNS that 21 of the Belarusians had arrived in Lithuania so far.

She said that another 11 individuals had applied for political asylum in Lithuania following the disputed August 9 presidential election in Belarus.

Tamašunienė said the Cabinet had discussed measures to assist Belarusians on their arrival in Lithuania at an informal meeting on Monday.

“We are talking about educational assistance, as well as access to medical treatment in Lithuania,” the minister said.

The main goal is to facilitate national visas, which would allow Belarusians to arrive “on their own and find work according to their profession”, she added.

Belarusians who wish to use the humanitarian corridor must first apply for a Schengen visa at the Lithuanian embassy in Belarus. There, they should declare the “humanitarian circumstances” on their application, according to the Interior Ministry.


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