A meeting between President Dalia Grybauskaitė and the Parliamentary Committees on Foreign and European Affairs discussed the EU's refugee relocation scheme. According to the European Affairs Committee chair Gediminas Kirkilas, Lithuania's position is to oppose proposals of introducing a permanent mechanism for refugee resettlement.
Gediminas Kirkilas, Benediktas Juodka
© DELFI / Valdas Kopūstas

Kirkilas, a social democrat, said: “There is a continuing pressure for a permanent mechanism, with which Central Europe, Lithuania, the Baltic states and Poland disagree. Why do we disagree? Because if this information gets to the refugees, they will come here. Officers from the Ministry of the Interior who have visited refugee camps [in Greece and Italy] say that the refugee rush began exactly when they got the message from Europe saying they are welcome. We say that we accept refugees, not economic migrants, but war refugees.”

According to the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Benediktas Juodka, the meeting thought it was important to integrate refugees as soon as possible rather than keeping them separate form the society.