The portal lrt.lt was the first to report this flight. The joint operation was organized on the second day of 2022 by the State Border Guard Service, the Ministry of the Interior and Vilnius Airport.
Airport spokesman Marius Zelenius confirmed to LRT radio that the flight had taken place, but did not provide more detailed information.
“They are flying out on a special flight, I can’t comment anymore,” Zelenius said
The Ministry of the Interior also confirmed this information shortly before noon. According to her, this is the first such charter flight from Lithuania for persons returning to the country of origin illegally crossing the Lithuanian border.
“Since the beginning of the migration crisis, we have been working very closely with our partners in the European Union (EU), maintaining regular contact with the Iraqi Government and appreciating its constructive cooperation in issuing documents to Iraqi citizens wishing to return. These people have been deceived by the undemocratic regime in Belarus. We understand that the flow of illegal migration can resume at any time, so together with our partners in the EU, we are making every effort to close the path to illegal migration to Europe, ”said Foreign Minister Gabriel Landsbergis in the report.
“We have managed to stop illegal migration, and foreigners who have entered Lithuania and the EU illegally must be returned to their countries of origin. We must make every effort to encourage migrants to return voluntarily. The decision to triple the state benefit for migrants who wish to return has paid off and we already have the result today, ”said the Minister of the Interior Agnė Bilotaitė.
According to the Ministry, Lithuania is actively working with the Government of Iraq, as the citizens of this country make up the majority of illegal immigrants. Four consular missions to Iraq have already been carried out in Lithuania, during which consuls helped Iraqis wishing to return to arrange travel documents.
The plane, which took off from Vilnius shortly after eight o’clock in the morning, should land in the Iraqi capital Baghdad at about 1 pm, where some migrants will disembark. The plane should later fly to Erbil in the Kurdistan region and disembark the remaining foreigners there.
According to the portal, the first bus with migrants arrived in the VIP area of the airport at about six o’clock in the morning. Migrants who agreed to leave Lithuania voluntarily were brought from Pabradė, Kybartai and Medininkai alien registration centers. According to the Ministry of the Interior, some foreigners also lived in the Rukla Refugee Reception Center.
According to Lrt.lt, about one and a half hundred migrants planned to fly by plane, but some of them abandoned their plans and decided to stay in Lithuania.
More than 4.2 thousand people entered Lithuania this year. migrants. Lithuania and other Western countries blame the Minsk regime for organizing migrant flows and call it hybrid aggression.
The vast majority of them entered the country until August, when border guards were granted the right to return migrants back to Belarus.
Since the beginning of August, border guards have turned over more than 8,000. migrants, but in some cases it may be the same people who have tried to cross the border again.
An emergency situation was declared on the Lithuanian border with Belarus until mid-January. Border control on the Lithuanian side is intensified.
537 migrants have already returned to their countries of origin from Lithuania, 482 of them voluntarily.
There are currently 3,166 foreigners in the migrant camps in Lithuania, and by January 20, Lithuania has committed to pay a thousand euros and organize a trip for all those who want to return to their homeland.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, most of these payments are financed from the European Commission’s support to Lithuania to manage the migration crisis. Maintaining one migrant costs Lithuania 11 thousand per year. euros.
Source: 15min.lt – suprasti akimirksniu | RSS by www.15min.lt.
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