Lithuania's migration authorities have processed about a third of asylum applications by irregular migrants who have recently crossed into the country from Belarus. Only two of nearly 1,300 have been approved, the Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.
A total of 1,289 asylum applications have been processed, and two Eritrean women have been granted refugee status and issued with permanent residence permits in Lithuania.
Another 878 migrants have been denied asylum and 409 applications were terminated because the applicants returned to their countries or left Lithuania.
Another 2,267 asylum applications are still pending, with most of them expected to be processed within a month, the ministry said.
Some 260 irregular migrants have already been returned to their countries of origin, with 34 people sent out last week. Moreover, 414 migrants whose asylum applications have been rejected and appeal procedures have been completed are currently awaiting deportation.
So far this year, Lithuania has granted asylum to 276 people, including Afghans who had worked for Lithuania's military personnel in Afghanistan, Belarusian opposition activists and others.
Almost 4,200 migrants, most of them Iraqi citizens, have crossed into Lithuania from Belarus this year. Vilnius accuses the Minsk government of orchestrating migrant smuggling, calling it “hybrid aggression” against the EU.
In early August, Lithuania introduced a policy of pushing migrants back from the border.