Rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine and fears of a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine have led neighboring countries to the latter to prepare for large numbers of refugees.
In particular, Poland has prepared for several scenarios if the situation between the two countries deteriorates, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
In this regard, Deputy Interior Minister Maciej Wąsik stressed that the country should be prepared to receive one million Ukrainian refugees.
“We have to prepare for a wave of up to a million people,” said the minister on Polish radio, as reported by the Guardian.
Recently, the mayor of Ciechanów, Krzysztof Kosiński, pointed out that the authorities had urged the authorities to indicate“the list of accommodation structures for refugees, the number of people it would be possible to accommodate, the costs involved and the time required to adapt the buildings with a recommendation of up to 48 hours.”
Currently, a large number of people in eastern Ukraine have left the country amid heightened tensions between Russia and Belarus.
Ukraine’s Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said that after the country reached a visa-free travel deal with Europe, people who wanted to leave the country have already done so.
“If Russia intensifies and people decide to go to Europe to find a safer place, it will probably be a smaller part of the population,” he added. Marchenko pointed out.
Besides Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are also preparing for an influx of migrants from Ukraine in the event of a potential war.
Some estimate that up to five million people could leave the country in the worst-case scenario, as reported by Al Jazeera.
The same source indicates that in 2015 the number of Ukrainians arriving in Poland for professional purposes increased from almost 200,000 to more than 800,000.
In 2015, the number of Ukrainians in the Czech Republic was more than 130,000. In addition, the data revealed that in the same year the number of applications for long-term residence increased by at least 5% .
A potential Russian invasion of Ukraine has also raised concerns among European airlines.
The Ukrainian government recently announced that a total of ten European airlines have temporarily suspended or canceled flights to that country.
Austrian airline Austrian Airlines, German airline Lufthansa and Swiss Airlines are the latest airlines to suspend flights to Kiev and the Black Sea city of Odessa.
US authorities said more than 190,000 Russian and separatist troops were stationed near the Ukrainian border, ready to launch an attack.
The current situation between Russia and Ukraine has led some European countries to advise their citizens against traveling to the latter, including Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and France.