I. Šimonytė on equalisation of restrictions for Belarusians and Russians: a more profound discussion is needed

Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė believes that a more profound discussion is needed on the unification of sanctions against Russians and Belarusians. She said a broader context should be considered, including the country's political stance and the possible reduction in the flow of labour immigrants from Belarus. Ms Šimonytė hopes the best solutions to meet all national security objectives will be proposed.

Ingrida Šimonytė.<br>A.Ufarto (ELTA) nuotr.
Ingrida Šimonytė.<br>A.Ufarto (ELTA) nuotr.
Daugiau nuotraukų (1)

Irtautė Gutauskaitė

2023-12-05 15:02

„I think we need a deeper discussion about what problem we are trying to solve. Because this is not only a question of the workload of the institutions, (...) but there are also issues of a broader context,“ the Prime Minister reacted to the unification of restrictive measures against Russian and Belarusian citizens, which is coming back to the Seimas.

According to her, political and economic arguments should be considered when discussing the alignment of sanctions against Russians and Belarusians.

„First, it questions our political stance as a state towards Belarusian society. Bearing that we have tried to separate the Belarusian people from the Belarusian regime, that is why these clauses are provided for in the law,“ said Šimonytė.

„Another issue to remember is that a substantial proportion of the people who have received a temporary residence permit in Lithuania are not political refugees, (...) but people who work in sectors such as construction and transport. This means that they are labourers who are labour immigrants. If we suppose there are no more labour immigrants on the labour market, we will probably have a very long and difficult discussion with our business associations, which think that migration should be facilitated because of a labour shortage“, the Prime Minister stressed.

Therefore, she said, the debate on this issue should lead to solutions that meet all the objectives.

„There are several contexts here, and I think that we will certainly have the opportunity to discuss and, after the discussion, to propose the best solutions that would be needed to meet not just one objective but a maximum of several objectives at the same time,“ Ms Šimonytė concluded.

ELTA recalls that on Monday, the Deputy Speaker of the Seimas Paulius Saudargas, the Chairman of the National Security and Defence Committee (NSGK) Laurynas Kasčiūnas and the member of the Foreign Affairs Committee (URK) Audronius Ažubalis registered amendments to the law on the Establishment of Restrictive Measures in the Context of the Military Aggression against Ukraine, which propose to suspend the acceptance of applications for a temporary residency in Lithuania by Belarusian citizens, with the respective exceptions applied to them.

The Seimas adopted national sanctions against Russian and Belarusian citizens in the spring. The draft law on restrictive measures due to the military aggression against Ukraine tightens the procedure for granting permanent or temporary residence permits and visas for a year. It bans Russian citizens' movement across the European Union's external border (EU). It also restricts the right of Russian citizens to acquire real estate in Lithuania.

However, the President vetoed the law. The Head of State indicated that the Seimas should unite and unify the restrictions for Russians and Belarusians. However, the Seimas overrode Nausėda’s veto.

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