No pressure from Poland: Ukrainian refugees' return a personal choice

Ukrainian refugees
Ukrainian refugees

Poland is taking a hands-off approach regarding Ukrainian refugees' decisions to return home, remaining "completely neutral" on the issue, the Polish Ambassador to Ukraine, Jaroslaw Guzy, said in a DW interview on March 13.

The choice to return is entirely up to the Ukrainian citizens residing in Poland, Guzy said.

Read also: Ukrainian refugees in Poland: A closer look at migration patterns

While individual employers in Poland might encourage Ukrainians to stay due to labor shortages, there will be no governmental push in either direction.

Europol reported about 951,000 Ukrainians with temporary protection status in Poland, and 1.24 million in Germany as of late January.

Ukraine has been negotiating with EU officials to shape new migration rules that could potentially facilitate the return of more Ukrainians from abroad, according to Politico.

Read also: Dutch MPs suggest cutting aid to Ukrainian refugees

Reducing assistance or pressuring Ukrainians to return is not Kyiv's policy, said Deputy Prime Minister for European Integration, Olha Stefanishyna. She asserted that the option for temporary protection in Europe should remain available through 2025 and beyond, regardless of the conflict's status.

However, Ukrainian citizens who fled the country after the Russian invasion in February 2022 should come back and help defend their homeland, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with The Irish Times on Feb. 26.

Ukraine will not impose measures to repatriate citizens but would focus on improving conditions to motivate their return, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal stated on March 5.

The European Union has extended temporary protection for Ukrainian refugees until March 2025, with Poland extending special protection and entitlements until the end of June 2024.

Read also: Slovak DM states that Ukraine should get back home their man from Europe instead of speaking about NATO troops

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine