By Akbar Mammadov
Azerbaijan has started the process of repatriating its citizens from Lithuania due to novel coronavirus pandemic, Azertag news agency reported on 11 May.
The citizens have been sent from Lithuania’s capital Vilnius to Riga, Latvia from where they will be airlifted to Azerbaijan.
Thus, some 43 citizens from Kaunas, Akmene, Klaipeda, Utena and other Lithuanian cities left Vilnius for Latvia by special buses under the supervision of relevant agencies. These citizens, along with other compatriots remaining in Riga, will leave for Baku on a special charter flight of "AirBaltik".
The agency reported that thanks to the efforts of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Lithuania, the Lithuanian government has opened a special humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of Azerbaijani citizens remaining in the country, and a special permit has been obtained for unimpeded crossing of the Lithuanian-Latvian border.
The Azerbaijani Embassy in Lithuania has been in constant contact with the citizens living there since the first days of quarantine, and relevant steps have been taken to eliminate the difficulties they face.
The embassy has also provided aid to the students facing financial difficulties as well as legal assistance to Azerbaijani citizens involved in the construction sector as hired workers and who have lost their jobs amid COVID-19, ensured that they receive their salaries and provided them with accommodation. It also provided disinfectants, masks, gloves and food to people with need.
So far, 79 Azerbaijanis have been evacuated from Lithuania.
Earlier, Azerbaijan repatriated 15,000 citizens from a number of countries due to coronavirus outbreak. The country’s diplomatic missions abroad have launched a hotline through which Azerbaijani citizens can request their repatriation.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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