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Poland ready to help Ukrainian refugees in case of war: PM

16.02.2022 15:00
Poland is preparing for a possible wave of refugees from neighouring Ukraine in the event of a Russian invasion, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Wednesday, amid tensions with Moscow over its military buildup near the Ukrainian border.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks to reporters on Wednesday.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki speaks to reporters on Wednesday.Photo: PAP/Artur Reszko

Speaking to reporters during a news conference in the east of the country, Morawiecki said that infrastructure would be put in place for potential refugees near Poland's eastern border with Ukraine.

Some of this infrastructure could later be moved to other areas inside the country to provide people with shelter there, he added.

He told reporters that a special team would be set up during the next few days to "deal with issues such as logistics, facilities, transport and infrastructure."

"We must be prepared for the worst," Morawiecki said, adding that the team would also work to ensure access to healthcare and education for potential Ukrainian refugees.

"We are helping the Ukrainians mitigate the consequences of a possible Russian attack," he told reporters.

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said a day earlier that his country was preparing for various scenarios amid a continuing standoff between the West and Russia over Ukraine.

“We must be ready for various scenarios and we were discussing them, in terms of what may happen in and around Ukraine and obviously also in Belarus, where large Russian military forces are currently stationed,” the president told reporters after a special meeting with government ministers on the Ukraine crisis.

Duda added that "one potential course of events" could be “an outbreak of a military conflict” and "the resulting influx of Ukrainian refugees" into Poland.

Poland's Social Policy Minister Marlena Maląg told the media this week that the country was making preparations for potentially hundreds of thousands of people fleeing neighbouring Ukraine in case of war breaking out.

Russia on Tuesday announced a partial withdrawal of troops and said the pullout continued on Wednesday, with the troops expected to return to their normal positions in three to four weeks, the Reuters news agency reported.

NATO, meanwhile, said it had not seen signs of any significant movement of Russian troops so far, according to Reuters.


Source: PAP, Reuters