As the war in Ukraine rages on, officials of the European Union and France have said that the EU was planning to grant fleeing Ukrainians the right to stay and work in any of its member states for up to three years.
This they said while thanking volunteers for helping those who arrived at the border.
They stated that at least 300,000 Ukrainian refugees have entered the EU so far, and the bloc needs to prepare for millions more, according to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria.
Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary, who are all members of EU, have land borders with Ukraine.
“It is our duty to take in those who flee war,” French Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, told France 2 TV, on Monday, saying EU interior minister had, on Sunday, tasked the European Commission with preparing draft proposals to grant them protection, NAN reports.
Ministers would meet again on Thursday to agree on the details of the proposals.
The EU temporary protection directive, which includes a residence permit, access to employment, social welfare and medical treatment, was drawn up after the 1990s war in the Balkans, but has never been used.
It provides for the same level of protection, for one to three years, in all EU states.
The EU will also help member states bordering Ukraine to cope with the influx of arrivals, EU Home Affairs Commissioner, Ylva Johansson, said during a visit on Monday to a border crossing between Romania and Ukraine, according to NAN.
She added that local volunteers and authorities helping those crossing the border were “showing solidarity in practice, showing that we are based on other values than Putin and we are practising these values.”
Johansson, on Sunday, said the exodus of Ukrainians concerned the entire bloc.
Citing U.N. estimates, Janez Lenarcic, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, has said four million Ukrainians were expected to flee the country as refugees, with many more displaced within Ukraine, NAN reports.
With men between 18 and 60 years prevented from leaving Ukraine, mostly women and children are arriving at the border in eastern Poland, Slovakia and Hungary and in northern and north-eastern Romania.
German Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser, said, on Sunday, “all EU member states are prepared to accept refugees from Ukraine.
“This is a strong response by Europe to the terrible suffering that Putin inflicts with his criminal war of aggression: Together, we stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine.”
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