Slovakia prepares for potential refugees from Ukraine

There is no pressure on the eastern border for now, interior minister said.

Vyšné Nemecké-Uzhhorod border crossing between Slovakia and Ukraine.Vyšné Nemecké-Uzhhorod border crossing between Slovakia and Ukraine. (Source: TASR)

If less than 500 refugees come to Slovakia from Ukraine every day, the country may establish hotspots on the border, where about 3,800 people could be placed.

In the case of higher numbers, commercial accommodation facilities in eastern Slovakia could be used, with capacity for some 30,000 people.

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This stems from the Interior Ministry’s plans for a potential refugee wave from Ukraine presented to the parliamentary defence and security committee, the SITA newswire reported.

How will the conflict in Ukraine impact people in Slovakia? (Q&A) Read more 

At the same time, the Defence Ministry is toughening some measures concerning the protection of strategic objects in connection with the situation in Ukraine, and is communicating with the police about potential cooperation, said the ministry’s state secretary, Marián Majer.

No pressure on the border for now

The capacity of the three facilities managed by the Interior Ministry is currently set at 20 people arriving daily in the course of 40 days, with the total capacity limit of about 830 people.

Yet, it is possible to extend the spaces by a further 500 places if the module of emergency accommodation is used, said Vendelín Leitner, state secretary of the Interior Ministry, as reported by SITA.

If 100 people from Ukraine arrive on a daily basis, the ministry is able to increase the capacity of asylum facilities by another 270 emergency beds in the course of 14 days, he added.

Foreign Ministry hands protest note to Russian Embassy Read more 

Yet, as Interior Minister Roman Mikulec (OĽaNO) said after the February 23 cabinet session, there is no increased pressure on the border for now.

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He reiterated that people coming from Ukraine need to have their passport, and can subsequently stay and move across the entire EU for 90 days. In case of need, they can be placed in asylum centres or facilities managed by his ministry, as reported by SITA.

The army can also help with the protection of Slovakia’s eastern border by deploying 500 soldiers, Majer said.

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