EU ministers agree on protected status for Ukrainians fleeing war

European Union interior ministers agreed at meeting on March 4 to activate a mechanism that will give people fleeing Ukraine protected status similar to that of refugees, in any EU country, for a renewable period of one year.

The step is among the EU’s latest in response to Russia’s war on Ukraine ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The interior ministers agreed to activate a July 2001 European Council directive on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between member states in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof.

“This will enable the EU member states to offer people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine an appropriate response for their situation,” a statement after the meeting said.

Eligible persons will be granted a protected status similar to that of refugees, in any EU country, for a renewable period of one year, the statement said.

The French presidency of the Council of the EU, and the European Commission, welcomed the agreement.

“This decision reflects the European Union’s full commitment to show solidarity with Ukraine and to fulfil its duty to the victims of this unjustifiable war.”

The statement said that the EU would continue to do its utmost to help Ukraine and victims of the war.

“Ministers had the opportunity to assure their Ukrainian counterparts of this during a video conference. Faced with this crisis at the heart of our continent, Europeans are responding with unity and solidarity,” the statement said.

For the rest of The Sofia Globe’s continuing coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, please click here.

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The Sofia Globe staff

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