Espreso. Global

Estonia supports extension of temporary protection for Ukrainians

26 September, 2023 Tuesday
14:50

The Estonian Parliament has reaffirmed its support for the EU's temporary protection policy for refugees from Ukraine until 2025

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This is mentioned in the statement of the Parliamentary Committee on EU Affairs, err.ee reports.

The chairman of the EU Affairs Committee, Liisa Pakosta, said that it is necessary to continue assistance, as many homes have been destroyed in Ukraine, jobs have been lost, and the population is still being murdered.

"Many people are unable to return home because their home no longer exists or they have to run to a shelter at night. The Riigikogu decided to extend the granting of temporary protection to Ukrainian war refugees – this allows each Ukrainian family to decide for themselves whether they continue to need temporary protection and when they can return home, because first new homes, workplaces, or even whole new settlements have to be built," she said.

The Committee stated that the refugees have nowhere to return to. When the time comes for this, the parliament will be ready to provide support.

The MPs also noted that the policy could be extended in the future, but it should be coordinated with all EU countries. Since 2014, Estonia has accepted 50,000 asylum seekers from Ukraine.

Ukrainian refugees in the EU: what is known

In January of this year, the UN reported that the number of Ukrainian refugees in Europe was approaching 8 million.

As of May 12, four million Ukrainian citizens who fled after Russia's full-scale invasion began in February 2022 have been granted temporary protection in the European Union, including about 700,000 who work and another 450,000 who study at schools and universities.  

June 20 Human Rights Ombudsman Dmytro Lubinets reports that over 8 million Ukrainians have become refugees. Of these, more than 5 million have applied for temporary resident status in neighboring Western European countries.

On September 13, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced further assistance to Ukrainian refugees in the EU.

On September 15, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser spoke in favor of extending the temporary protection of Ukrainian refugees for another year, "as long as this terrible war lasts."

On September 19, the European Commission proposed to extend temporary protection for Ukrainians fleeing Russia's aggression against Ukraine from March 4, 2024, to March 3, 2025.

On September 25, the Greek government announced the extension of the temporary protection status for Ukrainian asylum seekers until March 4, 2024.

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