MINSK, 21 October (BelTA) - Migrants from Ukraine still arrive in Belarus being attracted by stability in the country, Head of the Citizenship and Migration Department of the Belarusian Ministry of Internal Affairs Aleksei Begun told reporters, BelTA learned.
“Ukrainian citizens still hold the first place in the pool of arriving persons who apply for refugee status, along with citizens of Syria, Yemen and other countries with the so-called sleeping conflicts or armed conflicts. Ukrainians still arrive, get a work permit and permanent residence. They are attracted by stability in our state, certain living standards and the allowances we pay in case of relocation and obtaining a permanent residence permit,” Aleksei Begun said.
However, the pandemic and travel restrictions have affected the migration flows that pass through the territory of Belarus. “For example the number of Ukrainian citizens arriving in Belarus decreased by about a half over the same period of 2019. But this is primarily due to restrictive measures, the closure of borders. At the same time, this did not affect the number of Ukrainian citizens (about 500) who applied for refugee status or subsidiary protection,” Aleksei Begun noted.
According to him, currently more than 3,850 citizens of Ukraine have subsidiary protection in Belarus. Some of them have been granted refugee status. “Regarding this category of persons I would like to note that two thirds are persons of working age who work in Belarus, 12% of citizens are on parental leave. Many Ukrainians who have received subsidiary protection have given birth to children in Belarus and are intensively integrated into society,” he stressed.
Ukrainians still arrive in Belarus, get a work permit and permanent residence. “We are not talking about 30,000 Ukrainian citizens who live in Belarus having received a residence permit or citizenship. A peak of arrival of Ukrainian citizens happened at a time of the armed conflict. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Belarus has received more than 160,000 Ukrainian citizens within a short period. Some of them went through the naturalization process, some received permanent residence permits, some - temporary asylum and once the situation normalized returned to the state of nationality or moved to third countries,” he said.