Vilnius, Sept 16, 2020 (AFP)
EU member Lithuania said Wednesday it would further ease visa rules for people from Belarus, a measure aimed particularly at the neighbouring country's thriving tech industry.
The new rules, which will make it easier for Belarusians to relocate their businesses, come after a crackdown on mass anti-government protests in Belarus following a disputed August 9 elections.
"Our aim is to speed up the procedures so that visas can be issued more quickly," Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said.
Under the new rules, Belarusians will also be able to obtain a six-month visa that will enable them to travel across the European Union's passport-free Schengen zone.
Lithuania's investment agency said it was currently in talks with over 60 Belarusian companies, mostly in the IT sector, which are considering moving to the Baltic state.
"The visa facilitation will expand opportunities for Belarusian citizens to arrive and seek jobs in Lithuania while those who have job offers will be able to move here faster," Agne Rasciute from Invest Lithuania told AFP.
Waves of repression in Belarus have turned Lithuania, an EU and
Since the crackdown in Belarus, it has already eased coronavirus restrictions to allow in people from Belarus on "humanitarian grounds".
Lithuania has accepted 60 Belarusian activists so far -- 18 of whom have requested asylum, an interior ministry spokeswoman told AFP.
Another 171 activists have received permission to arrive in Lithuania but have not yet crossed the border.
Sumber : AFP
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