Lithuania announced on Thursday that it will provide more cash assistance to migrants to motivate them to return home, while the EU’s Baltic country is working to repatriate thousands of them.
Every migrant who voluntarily chooses to return to their country of origin will now receive 1,000 euros, instead of the 300 promised so far, from the state, as well as a plane ticket for a shower, according to AFP.
“After rejecting most asylum applications, we need solutions to send migrants back to their country of origin,” Interior Minister Agne Bilotaite told AFP.
“We hope that the higher pay will increase the number of migrants who return voluntarily,” she added.
The money for migrants comes from funds provided by the European Commission to help Lithuania cope with the crisis on its borders.
Since the summer, thousands of migrants, mostly from the Middle East, have crossed or tried to cross the eastern border of the European Union from Belarus to Latvia, Lithuania or Poland.
The West accuses Belarus of provoking the crisis by attracting migrants to the European border by issuing visas and promising an easy crossing, in revenge for EU sanctions – an accusation rejected by Minsk.