SOURCE: Tanjug 19.03.2014.
Since the beginning of the year two Ukrainian citizens have sought asylum in Serbia, while ten of them inquired about asylum conditions, says Rados Djurovic executive director of Asylum Protection Center.
Among them, he declares, there are some who have been in Serbia for a while now, but also, some who have arrived only recently, due to the tragic events in Ukraine.
“They are all scared for their future, examining under which conditions they can stay in Serbia, what will happen if they seek for asylum, will they be able to meet their friends, and whether they’ll be safe to go back home if the situation in Ukraine gets better.
He also explained that among those who have applied for asylum or inquired about asylum conditions, there are people who came from Crimea, but also from Kiev and Donbas region, people with different orientations, some of them opposition supporters, while others pro-Russian oriented.
In Asylum Protection Center it is said that significant expansion of asylum seekers from Ukraine should not be expected, as the individuals who have decided to seek asylum in Serbia did it mostly due to a more liberal visa regime with Serbia.
“Visa regime with Serbia is more liberal comparing to regimes with other countries. Ukrainians can stay in Serbia up to one month without visa required, which is also one of the reasons why they come here”, Djurovic concludes .
Director of the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, Vladimir Cucić says that none of the Ukrainians are located in any of five asylum camps and we cannot possibly talk about their massive arrival to Serbia.
Cucic points out that if the situation in Ukraine aggravates, it is to be expected that the Ukrainians from Crimea will escape to Ukraine, and the Russians form Ukraine will flee to Crime or Russia.
“Those who want to take advantage of this situation and get hold of Western Europe will flee across Poland, without going to Serbia. They have no reasons to come here, as they need to cross three countries, already members of the EU. It wouldn’t make much sense. Only someone who happened to be in Serbia at the moment of tragic events in Ukraine, applied for asylum”, said Cucić.
He notes that there are always people who use the situation, and also adds that today Europe has more asylum seekers from Serbia than from Syria.
“The economic situation is very bad, but no one gives asylum based only on economic circumstances. There will always be someone willing to take advantage of it. Among 550 asylum seekers in our camps there are none of Ukraine citizens”, Cucic concludes.