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Ukraine's ambassador to EU predicts Kyiv and EU will be "battling over Ukrainians" in 2025

Wednesday, 14 February 2024, 16:25
Ukraine's ambassador to EU predicts Kyiv and EU will be battling over Ukrainians in 2025
Stock photo: Getty Images

Vsevolod Chentsov, Ukraine's Permanent Representative to the EU, has predicted that what he describes as a "battle for Ukrainian citizens" will unfold in 2025, when temporary protection for Ukrainians in the EU is due to expire. He believes there should be a transition period in the event of dramatic changes in the situation.

Source: Chentsov in an interview with European Pravda

Quote from Chentsov: "Various options are being considered, and I am 100% [certain] that the European Union will not allow itself to make any sudden moves or create any sort of legal vacuum. Of course, when you have a legal status today, and your document expires tomorrow, the police are going to have questions about what this person is doing in the European Union."


Details: Chentsov added that Ukrainians should be warned well in advance, and a transition period should be provided in the event of any dramatic changes.

"There may be some temporary options. But for those people who are able to come back to Ukraine, special conditions should be created to help them do so," Chentsov said.

He estimates that there are currently 4-6 million Ukrainians in the EU who left after 24 February 2022.

Chentsov said that Ukraine was discussing a special programme with the EU to help Ukrainians return home. At the same time, he acknowledged that there is a danger that some countries will not want to help Ukrainians go back to Ukraine.

"I see this danger. Again, this is about competition. We have to be competitive as a country and create the right conditions for our people. That's what we need to do. I assume that 2025 will be a [time of] battle over our people here in Brussels. And not only in Brussels. We will be fighting [over them]," Chentsov said.

He also suggested that the European Union may review the amount of assistance to Ukraine, which is currently €50 billion, and settle on an even bigger amount. Chentsov also described the conditions under which these funds may be allocated. 

Background: The temporary protection for Ukrainians who fled to the EU from Russian aggression will expire in March 2025.

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