EU member states need to increase support to Ukraine refugees

Today, in establishing a Group of Friends of European Ukraine, Urmas Paet, member of European Parliament said that member states should urgently design a similar attitude regarding support to refugees from Eastern-Ukraine.

“This concerns providing help to these 600 000 people who have been granted asylum in other areas in Ukraine. Likewise in EU countries, giving protection and temporary shelter to people who have escaped from Eastern-Ukraine,” he said.

“Certainly the most important thing is to end war and violence in Eastern-Ukraine, and restore Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Yet at the same time we need to do our best to help people who are suffering,” Paet urged.

According to Paet ratifying EU-Ukraine Association Agreement by EU member states would have symbolic and significant meaning. “It was promised to be a quick process, still only 7 of 28 member states have ratified the agreement, including Estonia,” he added.

It is similarly critical to move on with implementation of visa-freedom to citizens of Ukraine. “Society of Ukraine would make much of it. Citizens of Moldova got visa-freedom from EU in spring, now same should be imposed upon Ukrainians,” Paet stated.

He noted that preventing further breaches of human rights in annexed Crimea and Donbas must get serious attention as well.

47 members belong to the Group of Friends of European Ukraine, who met today with representatives of different political groups of European Parliament.