Refugees from Ukraine – what awaits Germany and other countries?

Many people are leaving Ukraine after the Russian attack – neighbouring countries are already preparing to receive them. Germany also wants to support the refugees.

Is the EU prepared for refugees from Ukraine?

After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the EU fears a surge in refugees from the country. The European Commission’s vice president in charge of migration, Margaritis Schinas, recently estimated the number of anticipated refugees at between 20,000 and over one million. According to the UN refugee agency UNHCR, about 100,000 people are already fleeing Ukraine.

According to the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, “contingency plans” have been made with all eastern EU countries to immediately accept people from Ukraine. “We hope that the refugees are as few as possible, but we are fully prepared,” von der Leyen said. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson promised financial support for Poland, where the effects of the war are likely to be keenly felt, as well as possible help from border protection agency Frontex.

What awaits Germany?

According to Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD), the federal government is also preparing to accept refugees from Ukraine. She declared support to Ukraine’s closest neighbors, especially Poland. The federal states, such as Berlin and Lower Saxony, are ready to accept the fleeing Ukrainians. Faeser advocated an EU resolution to accept war refugees without unnecessary bureaucracy. The human rights organization Pro Asyl is also calling for taking in people who have fled to Ukraine from other threatened areas. “These include people from Syria, Afghanistan, Chechnya and Somalia,” – as reported by the organization.

How are Ukraine’s neighboring countries preparing to receive refugees?

Poland has a more than 500-kilometer border with Ukraine and has announced the establishment of the first centers for Ukrainian refugees. According to the Interior Ministry, the planned bases are to be set up at major border crossings of both countries. Poland will accept “as many people as there are on our borders,” – Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski said.

There is solidarity in Poland, political scientist Marta Kozlowska of Dresden University of Technology told the AFP news agency. “The motto of many people is: ‘No matter how many refugees there are, we must help them in this difficult situation.

What about Ukraine’s other neighbors?

EU countries that border Ukraine also include Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. Slovakia is also preparing for the possible arrival of people fleeing Ukraine. According to Interior Minister Roman Mikulc, several shelters are available for people from Ukraine.

Romania, as one of the poorest member states, did not expect an influx of Ukrainians. However, should it happen, Romania is ready to take in half a million people, Defense Minister Vasile Dincu said.

Hungary announced this week that it would send soldiers to its border with Ukraine for security and humanitarian reasons to help care for any refugees.

The Republic of Moldova, which is not an EU member, also borders Ukraine. President Maia Sandu tweeted Thursday that more than 4,000 people from Ukraine have already arrived in their country.


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