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2021.08.27 16:09

Migrants from tent camp to be moved to disused prison in west Lithuania

Ignas Jačauskas, BNS2021.08.27 16:09

Migrants from the tent camp at the Rūdninkai military training area will be moved to the Kybartai correctional facility for winter, the Interior Ministry said on Friday.

“As the weather gets colder and the winter season approaches, quick solutions are needed to save people from cold,” Deputy Interior Minister Vitalij Dmitrijev said in a press release.

“We have found [solutions]: migrants housed in the Rūdninkai camp will be taken care of first, because the conditions there are probably the worst of all temporary migrant centres set up in Lithuania,” the vice-minister said. “We will also provide warmer accommodation for children and women.”

“In the cold season, we will provide adequate accommodation for foreigners [...] until their asylum applications are processed,” he added.

Heating, electricity, internet connection, water, hot food, and a first-aid post are available in the correctional facility in Kybartai, in southwestern Lithuania, according to the ministry.

It also has a library, a crafts workshop, a gym, a football stadium and basketball courts.

Around 800 migrants could be moved to Kybartai, according to Dmitrijev.

“We are planning to house up to 800 people there. This would include both the building itself and modular housing units next to it if needed,” he said during a media conference.

Dmitrijev said the migrants could be relocated within a month, noting that the premises in Kybartai were “suitable for accommodation without any additional investment”.

Inmates to be moved out

The Kybartai Correctional Home has been slated for closure. The building is to be transferred to the centralised public property management company Turto Bankas under a reorganisation plan prepared by the Justice Ministry, the Interior Ministry said.

“As planned, the inmates living there will be transferred to the nearest correctional facilities [...] to serve out their sentences,” it said in the press release.

Once the migrants are moved out from Rūdninkai, the ground will be used to install modular housing units.

Moreover, infrastructure upgrades are underway to accommodate migrants in a border guard school in Medininkai, a village on Lithuania's border with Belarus.

Some migrants have already been moved from border stations and other temporary accommodations to modular housing units in Medininkai.

The Medininkai camp currently houses 350 migrants. The modular housing units can accommodate families of up to four people.

Another 219 foreigners are housed in modular housing units in the Rukla refugee reception centre in central Lithuania. Fifty modular housing units have been set up at the Padvarionys border station with Austrian support.

The ministry expects all migrants to be moved from border stations and other temporary accommodation facilities to modular housing units by the end of September.

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