Lithuania will ask for more time to meet its refugee resettlement quota – it has taken in only a half of the asylum seekers so far, and a half of them have already left the country, the 15min.lt online news site reported on Friday.
Lithuania committed in 2015 to accept 1,105 asylum seekers under the EU's refugee relocation mechanism, but later the quota was reduced to 1,077, with October 31, 2019 set as the deadline.
Of the 1,077 asylum seekers, only 490 people – citizens of Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Senegal, Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau, and stateless persons – have been relocated to date, according to figures from the Interior Ministry.
However, many of the refugees have left the country.
After the government's Migration Commission has decided that Lithuania continues to participate in resettlement programmes for foreigners in need of asylum, the Interior Ministry proposes to extended the deadline for the second time, to December 31, 2022.
The ministry's communications office has told 15min that a relevant draft government resolution is currently at the stage of coordination with the relevant authorities.