Germany's Scholz: Ukrainian refugees should be shared fairly

European Union leaders' summit in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday called for a fairer distribution of Ukrainian refugees in Europe, stressing how countries contributing less to the effort should receive help from the EU.

"If the other countries participate less in the reception of refugees, it means that Europe will provide these countries with special financial support for the financing of livelihoods, vocational training, language courses and all the things that play a role," said Scholz at an EU Council summit in Brussels.

He said that Germany, Czech, Poland and a few other countries have borne the brunt of taking in people fleeing from Ukraine following Russia's full-scale invasion.

He added that he had made this clear to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen together with his Polish and Czech counterparts.

According to the German statistics office, 276,000 people arrived in Germany from Ukraine last year.

Data from the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) showed that almost 6 million people have left Ukraine for Europe since February 2022, with some 1.1 million of them in Germany as of June 1.

(Reporting by Paolo Laudani, Miranda Murray and Alexander Ratz, Editing by Madeline Chambers)