Immigrants on board the Kaunas Seaways ferry return to their countries of origin
“I would like to sincerely thank the DFDS Seaways shipping company, officials and diplomats of Ukraine, Turkey, Denmark, Lithuania, Morocco and Algeria for their endless effort, dedication and skill that have led to the voluntary repatriation of all 12 illegal immigrants on board the Kaunas Seaways ferry sailing under the flag of Lithuania in the Black Sea,” said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius. The remainder of the immigrants abandoned the ship on 2 November and returned to their countries of origin through Odessa and Turkish airports.
Legally, the immigrants without documents were pushed into a blind alley. The DFDS Seaways shipping company together with the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lithuanian Ambassadors in Ukraine and Turkey worked together to find a solution. When coordinating diplomatic actions, Lithuania closely cooperated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and Danish Ambassadors in Ukraine, Turkey and Algeria. Representatives of the Delegation of the European Union, Frontex Agency, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and the International Organization for Migration were also consulted.
The Kaunas Seaways ferry regularly sails from Istanbul to Chernomorsk in Ukraine, and back. The illegal immigrants were discovered on board of the ferry on 27 July, when it departed from a port in Turkey.