| 3 March 2024, Sunday |

Discord surfaces in EU on how to handle millions of Ukrainian refugees

On Thursday, Hungary and its east European allies stirred tension in the European Union’s reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, stating they did not support offering temporary protection to individuals fleeing the crisis.

Earlier this week, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson told a gathering of EU interior ministers that she anticipated EU nations to agree to the protection program, which includes up to three years of residency rights, in the coming days.

However, Gergely Gulyas, the chief of staff to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, indicated that clear EU asylum regulations were already in place and that Hungary would award refugee status to anyone escaping Ukraine.

He went on to say that the Visegrad Four, which includes the Czech Republic, Poland, and Slovakia, did not agree with the European Commission’s plan.

Nearly a million people have already fled Ukraine, according to Johansson, with women and children crossing into EU territory via Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Hungary, all of which have land borders with Ukraine.
The Commission’s proposed temporary protection program would automatically offer anyone fleeing Ukraine a residence visa, as well as access to employment, social assistance, and housing, for up to three years. find out more

“The horrible war of aggression waged by (Russian President Vladimir) Putin has had awful effects for the people of Ukraine,” German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stated.

Ukrainians and those with long-term resident or refugee status in Ukraine would be protected, avoiding the need to go through lengthy asylum procedures.

Those staying in Ukraine for a limited period of time would be allowed into the EU and given assistance in returning home.

Russia’s offensive, the largest against a European state since 1945, has roiled a global economy still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, prompted a slew of harsh sanctions against Russia, and fueled concerns of further conflict in the West.

  • Reuters