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Vyshlinsky: The longer refugees stay in European countries, the less likely they are to return to Ukraine

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Estimated Reading Time: 2 min

In a recent interview on the Ukraine Calling, English language podcast of Hromadske Radio, Brian Bonner discussed the trends in European policy towards Ukrainian refugees with Hlib Vyshlinsky, shedding light on the varying approaches adopted by different countries.

Germany, Poland, and the Czech Republic are the top three destinations for Ukrainian refugees in Europe, with the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada also hosting some share. Discussing the sentiments regarding European policy towards refugee integration, Vyshlinsky noted the contrasting approaches taken by countries like Germany and Poland. Germany invests significantly in language training and professional adaptation, aiming to integrate refugees into the labor market. In contrast, Poland has a more libertarian stance, providing legal protection and access to basic services without extensive integration programs.

Vyshlinsky acknowledged that the longer refugees stay in European countries, the less likely they are to return to Ukraine. Factors such as integration into local communities, employment opportunities, and family ties contribute to this trend. He emphasized that while some refugees may have initially intended to return, their plans often change over time due to various rational factors.

Addressing the scale of Ukrainian refugee resettlement, Vyshlinsky provided optimistic and pessimistic scenarios. In the best-case scenario, approximately 1.4 million refugees could remain outside of Ukraine, while the worst-case scenario estimates suggest up to 2.3 million. He also noted that these figures only pertain to refugees in democratic countries, excluding those in Russia and Belarus.

The interview underscored the complex dynamics of refugee integration and the diverse approaches taken by European countries in response to the war in Ukraine. As Ukraine continues to grapple with the aftermath of the war, the question of refugee resettlement remains a pressing issue for policymakers and humanitarian organizations alike.


Read the full interview here: Ukraine: A Nation Divided. Uncertain future of Ukrainian refugees

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