Cyprus backs registration platform for Ukrainian refugees

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Cyprus supports the creation of a registration platform for all refugees from Ukraine to assist EU states in relocation and solidarity, Interior Minister Nicos Nouris said.

He commented after Monday’s extraordinary meeting of the EU Justice, and Home Affairs Council held in Brussels.

Nouris said the situation in Moldova and its request for the resettlement of refugees highlights the importance of Cyprus’ proposal for “mandatory and not voluntary relocation and redistribution”.

The Minister also stressed that the decision to provide €17 bln from unallocated resources to all member states to cover needs would help manage the situation.

Moldova is not an EU member but is receiving large numbers of refugees from Ukraine and therefore needs rapid support from Brussels.

“The main feature of today’s meeting of the Home Affairs Council was the unconditional solidarity towards the Ukrainian”, Nouris said.

“I believe that Moldova’s dramatic call for the resettlement of refugees highlights the importance of the proposal that Cyprus has put forward for mandatory and not voluntary relocation and redistribution.

“We have also supported that there should be a central platform on which to register all Ukrainian refugees to help member states both when it comes to relocation and solidarity.

“We consider the allocation of 17 billion euros from unallocated resources to all Member States, to meet the needs of refugees which will greatly help the common cause, to be extremely important.”

4 million refugees

While the number of refugees who have flooded out of Ukraine nears 4 million, fewer people have crossed the border in recent days.

In the first two weeks after Russia’s invasion on February 24, about 2.5 million people in Ukraine’s pre-war population of 44 million left the country to avoid the bombs and bloodshed.

In the second two weeks, the number of refugees was roughly half that.

The total exodus now stands at 3.87 million, according to the latest tally from UNHCR, the UN refugee agency.

UNHCR says the war has triggered Europe’s worst refugee crisis since World War II.

The speed and breadth of refugees fleeing to countries including Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, and Russia are unprecedented in recent times.

Poland alone has taken in 2.3 million refugees and Romania nearly 600,000. The United States has vowed to take in 100,000.

Even the devastating 11-year war in Syria, the source of the world’s biggest refugee crisis, didn’t force out so many people so fast.

The International Organization for Migration recently estimated that about 6.5 million people in Ukraine have been driven from their homes by the Russian invasion but remain displaced inside the country, suggesting that a large pool of potential refugees still awaits.