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HomeLithuaniaAdvisor issues warning on Central Asian immigrants in Lithuania after Moscow attack

Advisor issues warning on Central Asian immigrants in Lithuania after Moscow attack

An advisor to Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda warned on Tuesday of “a risk factor” related to immigrants from Central Asian countries coming to Lithuania following the recent Islamist attack in Moscow.

“We should also be very cautious and attentive to the communities from Central Asian countries we have here as they have also grown several times,” Kestutis Budrys, the presidential advisor on national security issues, told the Ziniu Radijas news radio. “I am in no way suggesting that all those people who have arrived here are linked to possible extremist activities. But the risk factor is definitely there”, he added.

All four suspected attackers who shot dead at least 137 people in a concert hall in a Moscow suburb last week are Tajik nationals.

US intelligence had warned Russia about possible attacks as Russia is a target for terrorist organizations because of its fight against the Islamic State in Syria and other Islamist organizations elsewhere in the world, Budrys pointed out.

In his words, there have been a number of cases in Lithuania where Tajik citizens have been expelled from the country because of possible links with extremist organizations, adding that Islamist activities in Central Asia are intertwined with opposition activities against the long-standing regimes in those countries.

“The workload for our services here is only increasing,” Budrys said.

According to Lithuania’s Migration Department, more than 6,300 Tajik citizens have residence permits in Lithuania.

Lithuania has been actively debating the need to limit immigration from third countries in recent months as some politicians are most concerned about the significant growth of the Belarusian community in the country.

In early March, the Interior Ministry proposed tightening the requirements for incoming foreign workers and businesses that invite them.

One of the proposed measures mentioned was the introduction, in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Security and Labor, of a new formula for calculating the quota for foreigners coming to Lithuania on the basis of employment.

Source: BNS

(Reproduction of BNS information in mass media and other websites without written consent of BNS is prohibited.)

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