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Minister and Ambassador of UK: Challenges should be solved together

Date

2015 02 17

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Minister and Ambassador of UK: Challenges should be solved together
Minister and Ambassador of UK: Challenges should be solved together

Today, during the meeting with the Ambassador of the United Kingdom (UK) to Lithuania David Hunt, Minister of the Interior Saulius Skvernelis spoke about the necessity to strengthen co-operation between both countries in the area of the interior, in particular taking into account rising geopolitical threats.

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S. Skvernelis underlined that the UK is the country the law enforcement institutions of which were among the first ones having established co-operation contacts with the Lithuanian police. “I am pleased that our co-operation, having started since 1992, became even more intensive in case there is a need to settle both national and European level common challenges, particularly in the fight against organized crime and terrorism”, – the Minister said.  

S. Skvernelis stressed that up to now Lithuania does not face the phenomenon of foreign fighters and there is no information about any Lithuanian citizen fighting on the side of terrorists. But, as the Minister said, Lithuania assesses the threat very seriously and responsibly, as we are aware of the possibility of trained, radicalized fighters, citizens of the European Union (EU) among them, who return from armed conflicts zones, appearing in Lithuania too.  

Minister also pointed out that Lithuania is going to restrict the order of issuing residence permits to the citizens of third countries. “Taking into account the complicated geopolitical situation and conflicts in the Eastern Europe, it is very important for Lithuania to restrict the issuance of permits, especially because the greatest numbers of persons applying for residence in Lithuania permits are from Russia and Ukraine. It has been noticed that Lithuania for them is an intermediate stop on their way to Europe. Thus operative exchange of information between our countries is very important and welcome.   

Ambassador presented Modern Slavery Strategy of the UK approved in November 2014. According to D. Hunt, Lithuania takes the ninth place among countries from which people are transported to the UK for forced labour. The Ambassador underlined that the UK hopes for efficient co-operation with the Lithuanian institutions.  

It was agreed that operative and timely sharing of information by the institutions of Lithuania and the UK in the fight against serious crimes and terrorism threats is particularly important. The Ambassador was especially pleased that Lithuania actively supports faster adoption of the directive on EU passenger number record (PNR) system for all internal EU flights. The Minister informed that Lithuania currently takes necessary actions to create national PNR system and thanked the UK for expert support delivered in this area.

It was agreed to continue close co-operation between law enforcement institutions of the countries – both bilateral and at the EU level and first of all to enhance the information sharing.

Minister of the Interior S. Skvernelis and Vice-minister A. Norkevičius at the meeting with Ambassador of the United Kingdom D. Hunt   Ambassador of the United Kingdom D. Hunt at the Ministry of the Interior
 Minister of the Interior S. Skvernelis and Vice-minister A. Norkevičius at the meeting with Ambassador of the United Kingdom D. Hunt
 
Ambassador of the United Kingdom D. Hunt at the Ministry of the Interior