Paweł Szefernaker made the statement at a conference for Poland’s top regional officials in the eastern town of Kazimierz Dolny on Wednesday, the state PAP news agency reported.
‘New refugee wave possible in winter’
The deputy interior minister told the gathering: “We in the central and local government need to be aware that there might come another wave of refugees.”
Szefernaker, who is the Polish government’s pointman on refugees from Ukraine, said there were no hard-and-fast estimates of the potential number of people who might pour into Poland.
He noted, however, that “the government in Kyiv instructed Ukraine’s local administration to get ready for a migration of some 500,000 people from the east to the west of the country this winter.”
The deputy interior minister said that, according to Kyiv, the refugees would remain in Ukraine.
“We need to be prepared for the fact that some proportion of these people might want to cross into Poland,” he told the conference.
EUR 2.1 bn for refugees from Assistance Fund
Szefernaker also said that so far Poland had supported refugees from Ukraine to the tune of PLN 10 billion (EUR 2.1 billion) from sources including the so-called Assistance Fund, the PAP news agency reported.
“Poland is heavily involved in providing humanitarian aid in Ukraine,” he said, adding that "despite difficult Polish-Ukrainian history," the help extended to Ukrainians “is the best way to safeguard Poland and Polish citizens against the aggressor.”
The deputy interior minister also stressed that “among the refugees registered in Poland’s personal-identification (PESEL) database, some 600,000 are of working age, of whom more than 400,000 have taken up legal employment in Poland and are paying taxes and insurance contributions,” the PAP news agency reported.
Wednesday was day 210 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Source: PAP, bankier.pl