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Flow of migrants to the EU, resettling from Ukraine, changing the world migration dynamics

Flow of migrants to the EU, resettling from Ukraine, changing the world migration dynamics.

Statistic show that, last year, the number of forced migrants reached 60 million, with Belarus welcoming people from Ukraine (these create the majority), as well as from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Yemen. The Interior Ministry states that the migration crisis has not created a strong impact on the country but that it’s necessary to be watchful, since not all arriving in Belarus may have the best intentions. Some have participated in armed conflict or have broken the law in their own states, so a screening filter would be desirable. Accordingly, Belarusian migration legislation is being amended, with a first reading at the House of Representatives approved.

One of the innovations of the new law is a shift towards a single system of accepting and studying applications for refugee status, with additional protection or shelter in Belarus. This will make it possible to cut the period of staying in Belarus for foreigners who lay claims to receive any form of protection without any serious grounds for this.

The Deputy Interior Minister, Nikolay Melchenko, notes that the Ministry sees no problem in migrants’ integration into Belarusian society. The number of crimes conducted by foreigners comprises less than 1.5 percent of the total, so Belarus has no plans to follow Russia’s example of introducing an exam in Belarusian language, national history and law for foreigners. However, some checks will definitely take place.

According to Mr. Melchenko, most of the refugees arriving in Belarus come from Ukraine, and have little problem adapting, receiving employment, accommodation and the chance to continue education. So far, around 50,000 Ukrainians have received a residence permit for Belarus.

Andrey Naumovich, the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Human Rights, National Relations and Mass Media, describes the general attitude of Ukrainian migrants, saying, “All those Ukrainians with whom I’ve communicated in my district have asked me to thank our President and our nation for the support and help given. We’re setting an example of how to treat a fraternal nation.” 

By Yevgeny Kononov

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