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Polish defence minister supports Ukrainian conscription efforts

25.04.2024 11:00
Poland's Defence Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz has voiced his support for the Ukrainian government's efforts to conscript men for military service in light of the ongoing conflict.
Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz.
Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz. Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak

Amid reports of Ukrainian consulates halting the issuance of documents for men aged 18-60, citing "technical reasons," Kosiniak-Kamysz expressed understanding for the significant pressures facing Ukraine.

"The needs are immense, and I am not surprised that the Ukrainian authorities are doing everything possible to send soldiers to the front," Kosiniak-Kamysz said during an interview with Polish private broadcaster Polsat News.

Kosiniak-Kamysz underscored his empathy for both the Ukrainian soldiers engaged in combat and Polish citizens "disturbed" by the presence of potential conscripts in civilian settings.

"I also understand the frustration of Poles who see young Ukrainians of draft age in hotels and cafés, while their counterparts fight on the front lines," he said.

"Ukrainian citizens have duties towards their state, and it is the duty of every citizen in a given country to fulfill these," Kosiniak-Kamysz stated.

He reiterated Poland's readiness to assist Ukraine in ensuring that those eligible for military service can fulfill their obligations.

Regarding the potential deportation of Ukrainians whose residency permits in Poland might not be renewed, Kosiniak-Kamysz indicated that all options were on the table.

"Anything is possible," he said, emphasizing that any form of support and assistance would reflect a mutual commitment to solidarity.

 On Wednesday, Kyiv announced rules under which passports for military-age men can be issued only inside the country instead of foreign diplomatic missions, the Reuters news agency reported.

As a result, men aged between 18 and 59 living abroad will not be able to obtain new documents or renew expiring ones, according to Reuters.

Around 4.3 million Ukrainians were living in European Union countries as of January this year, including some 860,000 adult men, according to Eurostat data cited by Reuters.


Source: PAP, Reuters