Russian, Belarusian workers welcome in Lithuania – foreign minister

  • 2022-03-24
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Russian and Belarusian workers moving to Lithuania due to the Kremlin's war on Ukraine are welcome in Lithuania, but they will be treated with caution, Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said on Thursday. 

Russian and Belarusian companies that relocate to Lithuania will pay taxes that will later be used for military and other assistance to Ukraine, according to the minister.  

"A significant number of them [workers] are coming. They are from multinational companies that have either headquarters or one of their branches in Lithuania. They just merge their offices and continue their operations," Landsbergis said. "They will pay taxes to Lithuania, and Lithuania uses the money to help Ukraine."  

"So I think there is a very simple, even practical aspect of benefit when we take money out of Russia and give it to the Ukrainians in the form of weapons or humanitarian aid," he said.

According to the minister, Lithuania is ready to take in these people and has assessed the "potential risks" of opening its doors to all Russian citizens, so some caution is being exercised when inviting them. 

Workers' views will matter in the admission process, and in the case of public figures, their publicly declared opposition to the war will be taken into account, he said.

As of Wednesday, Lithuania has put in place a simplified procedure to facilitate the transfer of staff and their family members to Lithuania by Russian and Belarusian businesses that have Lithuanian-registered companies of the same group.