Lithuania express willingness to grant protection to Belarusian citizens
Although the national external borders remain closed due to anti-covid measures Lithuania express willingness to grant protection to Belarusian citizens in relation to the political turmoil in the neighbourhood country.
As the Minister of Interior Rita Tamašunienė stated “We are closely monitoring the situation in Belarus and have prepared a plan of measures for the possible event of an increase in the number of Belarusian citizens applying for asylum in Lithuania. Persons who will apply for asylum and qualify for refugee status will be granted such asylum in our country”.
As restrictions on movement have been implemented earlier this year in aim to prevent COVID-19 outbreak foreign nationals are prohibits from entering Lithuania, with limited exceptions, unless they have a valid long-term residence permit. But according to the Ministry statement, Belarusians either apply for international protection or arriving in the Republic of Lithuania on humanitarian grounds. People entering Lithuania will be subject to 14-day self-isolation.
As we can read on the Ministry website, according to the Lithuanian legislation, asylum can be granted in two forms - refugee status or subsidiary protection. Refugee status is granted to an asylum seeker who is at risk of persecution in the country because of his or her race, nationality, religion, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.
Subsidiary protection is granted to an asylum seeker who does not qualify for a refugee status, but who is at risk of torture, the death penalty or danger to his or her liberty, health or life as a result of the ongoing war.
R. Tamašunienė: Lithuania will always be safe haven for persecuted foreign citizens [12.08.2020].
Lithuania – Response to COVID-19 and impact on migrant and refugee integration [07.04.2020].