Free and prosperous Belarus is in the interest of Lithuania

Date

2021 01 14

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At the meeting with Belarusian civil society leader Sviatlana Cichanouskaja, Minister of the Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė discussed measures to be introduced to facilitate conditions for Belarusian enterprises persecuted by the political regime to continue their activities in Lithuania. The Minister also stressed that she supports and will continue to support EU sanctions against the Lukashenko regime.  

‘Symbolically, our meeting takes place exactly 30 years after the tragic events of 13 January 1991 in Lithuania, which showed that freedom has a huge price, which also cost lives. The courage and dedication of the Belarusian people to fight for their freedom and democracy inspires the entire world. Lithuania very well understands and supports the people of Belarus and believes that the fight against the regime will also contribute to the creation of greater economic freedom and market economy in this country. Free, strong and prosperous Belarus is in the interest of Lithuania,’ said Minister of the Economy and Innovation Aušrinė Armonaitė.  

Also, the Minister invited honest and persecuted Belarusian business representatives and other citizens to work and live in Lithuania. To facilitate the development of businesses coming from third countries and to reduce  establishment formalities, the Ministry of the Economy and Innovation is working out amendments to the laws to facilitate the coming of professionals to Lithuania. This means that all employees of companies investing in Lithuania would automatically receive permits to temporarily reside in Lithuania together with their families, and they would no longer need to get an additional permit for working in our country. This package of laws is planned to be considered in the spring session of the Seimas. 

Currently, Invest Lithuania deals with more than 60 companies from Belarus, which are or consider expanding their activities in Lithuania. It is estimated that between 500 and 2500 employees of these companies could move to Lithuania. These amendments to laws would increase Lithuania’s competitiveness and could help attract skilled employees. The Belarusian companies which are currently opening their units in  Lithuania include software developers EPAM, Coherent Solutions, Godel Technologies and female health mobile app developers Flo Health. 

Currently, the Belarusian community in our country is growing not just because of the increasing number of members and companies of the democratic Belarusian opposition that moved to Lithuania; this is also determined by the development of businesses and the fact that European Humanities University is located in Vilnius and is attended by 695 students, more than 90 % of which are Belarusians. 

According to the Minister, the  development of activities of third-country companies in Lithuania should also be facilitated by amendments to the laws, which are currently being discussed by the Seimas, regarding the simplified opening of accounts. The proposal is to allow the opening of accounts both in banks and in electronic money institutions.