Latvia and Poland say they are ready to receive Ukrainian refugees

14 February 2022, 05:10 PM

With the risk of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine looming, Latvia and Poland say they are ready to receive Ukrainians fleeing Russian forces, Latvia’s Interior Minister Maria Golubeva said on Feb. 12.

Golubeva’s Polish counterpart Mariusz Kaminski gave a similar statement on Feb. 13.

Golubeva said that in the event of a war with Russia, Latvia was ready to receive up to 10,000 people.

The Latvian interior minister stated that her ministry has already designed a plan and passed it on to other ministries for assessment. Golubeva believes the number is not the key point, but rather where and how the 10,000 refugees can be provided with accommodation.

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“We’ve had this plan in place for a while,” said Golubeva.

“It is important to understand that Ukraine’s circumstances are quite extraordinary. Firstly, Ukraine has a visa-free regime with the EU. Secondly, our people have grounds to support Ukraine’s wish to strengthen its independence and territorial integrity. It means that people will be very understanding about the need to receive Ukrainian refugees if a war starts, God forbid,” said Golubeva.

Kaminsky, expressing Poland’s readiness to host Ukrainian refugees, said Poland is getting prepared for multiple scenarios.

“It’s obvious that given the situation in Ukraine we are getting ready for various scenarios,” wrote Kaminsky on Twitter.

“One of them is the actions of our voivodeships (regions) related to the flow of refugees from Ukraine, who may be looking for a safe shelter in our country in the event of a potential conflict.”

Nearly 40 countries have urged their citizens to leave Ukraine and cancel their travel plans to the country as Russian military mobilization continues on Ukraine’s borders. A number of countries have also reduced the diplomatic presence in Ukraine, moved their diplomatic missions to western Ukraine or evacuated personnel or their families.

Foreign media and intelligence report a high risk of a Russian invasion in Ukraine, given recent Russian naval movements in the Black Sea and the continuing build-up of military assets, with an estimated 140,000 Russian troops already arrayed on the Ukrainian border and in the temporarily occupied territories.

At the same time, Russia has denied any plans to invade Ukraine and claims Ukraine plans to stage false-flag operations and take Russian-occupied territories back by force.

No evidence has been provided up back up that assertion.

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