aA
Over a dozen of people have on Monday staged a protest outside Lithuania's Interior Ministry over plans to house migrants in the town of Dieveniskes in Salcininkai District.
Locals stage protest outside ministry over plans to house migrants
© VSAT

"First of all, we are afraid of the closeness. We do understand that those people need to be accommodated somewhere, taken care of, but it should be done within a safe distance for officers who say they will protect us to have time to respond," Liuba Poliak, 62, from Dieveniskes told journalists.

People held banners saying "Listen to residents of Dieveniskes!", "No to violation of rights of Dieveniskes residents!" and "We care about security!"

Local residents say they learnt about plans to accommodate illegal migrants at the local former technology and business schools from media reports. If they fail to agree with the government, local residents plan to turn to court and are already looking for a layer, Poliak said.

Later on, Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite came out to talk to the protesters and said she understands people's concerns, adding, however, there were very few places to choose from to accommodate migrants.

"We asked Turto Bankas (sate enterprise Property Bank – BNS) to suggest places where we could accommodate those people. They provided a list, which was short, and not all premises met the criteria. Those premises were the most suitable for us," she said.

In her words, migrants would be accommodated at the aforementioned school only upon the installation of a fence and possibly CCTV cameras.

"Maximum security will be ensured for your community. Speaking of fences and protection, they will have to be ensured, undoubtedly," the minister said.

Protesters also held pages with the minister's previous words that migrants would not be accommodated close to residential areas. Asked whether she was now renouncing those words, Bilotaite said that "we can hardly find places in Lithuania where there would be no people at all".

The minister also said other accommodation alternatives are being considered, adding that everything will depend on the inflow of illegal migrants. She asked residents for understanding and solidarity as internal divisions would only be beneficial for the Minsk regime.

Over 2,000 illegal migrants have been detained in Lithuania so far this year, having crossed from Belarus, which is over 20 times more than during the whole year of 2020. A state-level emergency is in place in Lithuania amid the recent spike of illegal migration.

Lithuanian officials say the Belarusian regime is behind the recent spike in illegal migration as tensions between Minsk and Vilnius rose after last year's contested presidential election in Belarus.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.

Lithuania to offer money to migrants who want to return home

Lithuanian border guards and migration officials will offer some money to irregular migrants who want...

Migrants crisis: unrest starts at Rudninku training ground

After the heavy rain on Monday night, illegal migrants that are placed at Rudninkų training ground...

Foreign Minister wants EU sanctions on all those involved in migrant smuggling (1)

As the rate of irregular migration from Belarus to Lithuania is not slowing down, the European Union...

EU's commissioner in Vilnius: we must show there's no free access to EU territory

We must show that there's no free access to the territory of the European Union, European Commissioner...

Slovak humanitarian aid reached Lithuania

In order to help fight illegal migration, Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the Republic of...

Top news

Migrants crisis: unrest starts at Rudninku training ground

After the heavy rain on Monday night, illegal migrants that are placed at Rudninkų training ground...

Foreign Minister wants EU sanctions on all those involved in migrant smuggling (1)

As the rate of irregular migration from Belarus to Lithuania is not slowing down, the European Union...

212 new COVID-19 cases

On Sunday, 212 new COVID-19 cases were detected in Lithuania. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the...

Lithuania to offer money to migrants who want to return home

Lithuanian border guards and migration officials will offer some money to irregular migrants who want...

Reconstruction of Palanga Airport: main works to begin in September

The European Commission (EC) has approved a public support measure for Palanga Airport in Lithuania...