Poland will continue to protect Ukrainian refugees, including men without passports, says Interior Minister

Warsaw, Poland
Warsaw, Poland

Warsaw will continue to provide temporary protection for Ukrainian refugees in the country, including military-age men without passports, Polish news outlet Ukrayina.pl reported on April 26.

"We will extend the protection of Ukrainian refugees, which is valid only until June 30. Those who do not have passports will be under temporary protection," he said, adding that Poland will act in accordance with its legislation and will not share the personal data of these men with anyone, including Ukraine.

This follows an earlier statement made by Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz on April 24 that Warsaw was ready to facilitate the return of military-age male Ukrainians currently living in Poland to fulfill their civic obligations at home.

Lithuanian Defense Minister Laurynas Kasčiūnas also said that Vilnius would be watching Poland's approach to the issue closely and might follow suit.

German Interior Ministry spokesperson Maximilian Kall said that Kyiv's decision to limit consular services for Ukrainian men would not affect their refugee status in Germany.

On April 25, Ukrainian Defense Ministry spokesperson Dmytro Lazutkin said that it was “unrealistic” for Ukrainian military recruitment centers to operate and serve summonses to military-age men abroad.

He also refused to comment on a recent Foreign Ministry decree suspending consular services to draft-eligible Ukrainian citizens abroad.

Once the new law on mobilization comes into effect on May 18, Ukrainian men aged 25-60 will have 60 days to update their military registration through a dedicated web portal, which can be done both in Ukraine and abroad.

According to the Eurostat database estimates, about 4.3 million Ukrainians are currently living in EU countries, including about 860,000 adult men. Of these, Poland has granted temporary protection status to 950,000 Ukrainians, the second highest number after Germany.

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