EU member states should be given the right to decide themselves whether to accept refugees from Greece and Italy and how may of them to accept, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė says.
"Lithuania disapproves of mandatory movement of refugees. We are in favour of the voluntary principle for EU member states to accept refugees," the president told BNS on Wednesday via her office.
Grybauskaitė underlined that Lithuania was in solidarity with other EU member states and provided humanitarian aid and participated in joint rescue and monitoring missions in the Mediterranean Sea.
"Our country has already provided asylum to over 400 foreigners, with the majority of them coming from Ukraine, Georgia and Russia," she pointed out.
On Wednesday, the European Commission suggested relocating 207 refugees to Lithuania from third countries. The Baltic country would be also expected to examine 503 asylum applications, mainly received by Greece and Italy, over the period of two years.
Lithuanian institutions would decide whether to satisfy the applications.
The EC proposal is to be discussed by EU interior ministers in June.