Countries with Ukraine refugees want additional EU funds


Ukrainian refugees are seen after crossing into Poland on March 13, 2022. LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images

Prague said on Thursday that nine Central and Eastern European countries would ask the EU this month for financial aid to offset their costs of hosting Ukrainian refugees.

More than five million people have fled war-torn Ukraine since Russia invaded in late February, the majority crossing the border into Poland.

Surrounding countries have also taken in their proportion of refugees, including the Czech Republic which has handed out 300 000 permanent visas to Ukrainians since the conflict began.

“The current crisis is exceptional and we cannot predict its ultimate impact on our economies,” Czech deputy chief minister Ivan Bartos said in a statement.

“We consequently have to ask for additional funds for the EU members hosting a large number of Ukrainian refugees.”

The countries in question, all EU members, are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the Baltic trio of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The statement did not indicate what specific sum they would be requesting by the end of the month.

Bartos additional that the countries were also calling for “urgent approval of programmes for the new 2021-2027 budgetary period, so that the projects assisting refugees in Central and Eastern Europe can start getting reimbursed as soon as possible”.

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