For its part, Lithuania, although it has closed its borders to Russian citizens, with some exceptions, intends to assess the request of each person fleeing military service individually.
“Lithuania has no intention and capacity to issue visas on humanitarian grounds to all Russian citizens who apply. This also requires inspections related to national security issues. The applications of Russian citizens who apply will continue to be evaluated in the usual manner, taking into account all the circumstances and individually, in order to avoid threats to the national security of Lithuania and to keep the door open to persecuted representatives of civil society and the opposition.
We will continue to consult with regional partners and at the EU level about ways to respond,” the portal said lrytas.lt the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) stated in the reply sent.
VSAT: We are monitoring the situation
The representative of the State Border Guard Service (VSAT) Giedrius Mišutis asserted that for the time being no additional measures will be taken on the border sections with Russia and Belarus, as the border protection there is already maximally strengthened.
At the moment, the border guards are evaluating the information and observing whether the flow of Russian citizens trying to enter Lithuania will change.
“During every crisis, it is expected that the situation can change. We are now working under a state of emergency, which means that border control has been strengthened since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Of course, even more attention is paid, information is evaluated and prepared for various situations.
There is no need to take any special measures, because everything is already reinforced. The situation is being monitored, if it is seen that additional measures or reserves need to be taken, this will be done,” the portal said lrytas.lt explained G. Mišutis.
According to the VSAT representative, every Russian citizen trying to enter the country to avoid conscription will be assessed individually, he will have to substantiate his claims.
“A Russian citizen fleeing the regime, if he does not have a visa, and if there is a reason for entry, he will apply for asylum in Lithuania. But if it takes place without documents or with documents but without a visa, the circumstances will be assessed, the situation and threats will be assessed in each case.
The statement that we are running away from something must be very clearly argued, confirmed, etc. By taking advantage of this situation, we may receive people who are not necessarily running away from some threats, but simply trying to enter the EU”, commented G. Mišutis.
“It will be necessary to check if he is running away from mobilization or if he has some other goals. For example, people who were fleeing the Belarusian regime, practically all of them, even those who cross the border in illegal places, ask for asylum,” he added.
The VSAT representative pointed out that, after the country’s borders are closed to Russian citizens, there are significantly fewer of them trying to enter the country. Last day, 1,603 Russian citizens entered Lithuania, 21 were not admitted because they did not fall under the provided exceptions.
After the regional decision not to allow a part of Russian citizens who have already received visas into force, only persons who meet the criteria approved by the Government will be allowed into Lithuania: Russian diplomats, dissidents, employees of transport companies, family members of EU citizens, as well as Russians holding residence permits or long-term national visas from Schengen countries. .
Persons fleeing the Russian regime can also enter Lithuania. In order to prove that you are being persecuted by the Russian authorities, you must submit a subpoena, court order or similar documents from the police, and information disseminated in the public space is also suitable. Russian citizens can continue to travel to and from the Kaliningrad region via Lithuania via transit trains.
Migration Department: We have to prepare
Director of the Migration Department Evelina Gudzinskaitė stated that the number of Russian citizens requesting asylum in Lithuania increased slightly only after the war started, but even then, according to her, there were only a few requests. E. Gudzinskaitė did not attempt to predict whether the number of Russians seeking asylum in Lithuania will increase after the partial mobilization announced by the Kremlin.
“There is such a possibility, but since the mobilization is partial and not universal, the number is not so high for such a country. So even if (asylum seekers – post office) would appear, I wonder if there would be a lot of them. However, we have to prepare for the fact that asylum requests may increase”, – lrytas.lt said the director of the Migration Department.
According to E. Gudzinskaitė, the Migration Department will take decisions on whether to grant asylum to Russians fleeing mobilization very carefully.
“They will have to justify their asylum request as to why they are requesting it. A number of factors will have to be assessed – it will not be a simple assessment. It will be necessary to thoroughly evaluate each person, check the person’s history, the personality itself, his views.
If there are such requests, they will be time-consuming and requests requiring a complex investigation”, assessed E. Gudzinskaitė.
A. Anušauskas has a different opinion
In turn, Minister of National Defense Arvydas Anušauskas stated that Lithuania’s borders should remain closed to Russians fleeing mobilization.
“If you think about it, it’s Russians running away from mobilization – it’s not running away from political persecution because it’s happening in their own country, which Putin didn’t occupy. So the walls must remain closed.
Well, as always, Putin also added that men under the age of 65 are prohibited from leaving (and moving within Russia) if they do not have the required military service certificate. And there are no more free tickets for trains and planes,” the minister wrote on his Facebook account.
“A sad day for those who saw the delusions of the Russian Fuehrer but did nothing,” he added.
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