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EU backs move to give Ukraine refugees temporary residency -Breaking

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© Reuters. Ukrainian family members embrace each other after fleeing from the Russian invasion. This was at Medyka border crossing in Poland on March 2, 2022. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

Gergely Szakacs and Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS/BUDAPEST, (Reuters) – The European Union’s interior ministers unanimously backed a plan for temporary residence to Ukrainians fleeing Russian invasion. This should be implemented within days.

Gerald Darmanin from France, Interior Minister described it as historic and important. He backed a package offering Ukrainians rights that are similar to formal refugees. It is possible to renew.

Protective measures for Ukrainians, as well as those with long-term residence or refugee status in Ukraine will be applied. This will save them from lengthy asylum processes.

Ylva Johannsson, EU Home Affairs commissioner, said that nearly 1,000,000 people fled Ukraine. They entered EU territory via Poland and Slovakia, and Hungary. But, in just a few days, the EU showed unprecedented unity and its ability to respond.

At a news conference, she stated that the ministers had also shown that the Ministers were able to address a subject that was often considered difficult or toxic.

In the aftermath of the war in Yugoslavia, the EU created a temporary protection mechanism to help with large-scale displaced persons. But, the mechanism has yet to be activated.

Commission’s scheme will grant asylum to those fleeing Ukraine for up to 3 years. It also grants them access to housing, employment and social welfare.

People on short-term visits to Ukraine would be allowed onto EU territory. They would also receive help in returning home.

The Hungarian Prime Minster Viktor Orban had earlier cast doubt on the EU plan by stating that Hungary’s eastern European neighbors did not support it but preferred the current EU asylum rules.

Darmanin claimed that the Hungarian minister present at the meeting denied such a claim. According to a spokesperson from the Hungarian Government, a compromise was reached that would be acceptable by all.

A diplomat from the EU stated that there seemed to be a miscommunication in Budapest. However, there was unanimous support at the meeting of ministers and the proposal was accepted.

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