The Lithuanian parliament has passed a law allowing to use public funds to relocate people of Lithuanian descent from war or disaster zones to Lithuania.
The Law on the Relocation of Persons to the Republic of Lithuania was passed unanimously with 96 votes on Friday and is to come into force in June.
Eligible for relocation will be Lithuanian citizens, people of Lithuanian descent and those who would have the right to have their citizenship reinstated. Their family members are also covered.
However, the law excludes individuals who have committed serious crimes and those deemed a threat to national security and public order.
The costs of relocating people of Lithuanian descent from countries or territories hit by humanitarian crises will be covered from the state budget.
Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius introduced the bill in the parliament earlier this year, saying that the country needed a formal procedure for relocating people to Lithuania.
For several years, the Lithuanian government has been relocating people of Lithuanian descent from unrest-stricken Ukrainian regions. This was done under a special government resolution.