Lithuanian-Russians in no hurry to return to historic homeland

November 22, 2007 at 9:39 pm 2 comments

Russian Refugees in WWIThe yearlong Russian national support program intended to encourage Russians living abroad to voluntary return to their homeland interested few Lithuanian Russian-speakers.

During the forum “Integration of Compatriots 2007″that took place in beginning of Nov in Moscow, it became evident that only 130 individuals returned to Russia, home of 140 million inhabitants, through the program for reclaiming fellow countrymen, which lasted one year, daily newspaper Lietuvos Zinios reports.

The press representative for the Russian Embassy in Vilnius Jevgenij Ustinov also confirmed to Lietuvos Zinios, that very few individuals responded to Vladimir Putin’s invitation. The representative of Moscow plead that the situation is such because the program’s effectuation started only in the beginning of this year.

Ustinov has remarked that he entire program is coordinated by the Russian Federal Migration Agency and its subdivisions in agencies of various foreign countries. Since no such agency exists in Lithuania at the moment, the program for bringing back fellow countrymen is coordinated by the consular bureaus. Lithuanian Russians display no interest in the program upheld by Putin.

“I haven’t heard that any one of us would like to go to Russia. We have already taken roots in Lithuania – we have chosen our country”, – said the head of the Lithuanian-Russian Cultural Center Tatjana Jasinskaja.

MP Vladimir Orechov thinks that Russia will have a difficult time alluring compatriots living in European Union (EU) countries.

“The youth is looking towards Europe. Those that have a job and can sustain themselves with it will certainly not be interested in living in the present Russia. That goes especially for those living in Lithuania, which in essence has very favorable living conditions for foreign-born individuals”, – the MP has said.

Russians make up around 6 percent of about 3.4 million Lithuanian inhabitants, and the absolute majority of Russians living in Lithuania have chosen Lithuanian citizenship.

According to the data of the statistics department, the biggest number of Russians left Lithuania between years 1989-2000 -the general number of Russian-speakers then decreased from 344.5 thousand (9.4 percent) to 219.7 thousand (6.3 percent).

Over the seven months of this year, 543 inhabitants left for Russia, however 540 entered Lithuania from the same country. 

It would be interesting to know how many ‘oppressed’ Russians from the other ‘Fascist’ Baltic States of Latvia and Estonia have embraced the spoils of this programme?  If not many, then why is that?…


Entry filed under: Baltic States, Economics, Estonia, EU, Latvia, Lithuania, Northern Europe, Politics, Russia.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Global Voices Online » Lithuania: Russian Diaspora  |  December 1, 2007 at 2:29 am

    […] writes about the Russian diaspora in Lithuania. Share […]

  • 2. Paul  |  August 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Not many people want to go to Russia, especially now after 2004 when LT joined European Union and every Lithuanian ( together Latvian) passport holder can freely move, live and work in others EU states as UK, Spain, Sweden and etc.


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