Updated at 10:54,14-11-2017

Ukrainians make up almost 45% of immigrants to Belarus

Euroradio

Within 6 months of 2015, Ukrainians have filed 77% of all asylum applications in our country.

To date, nearly 60,000 migrants are waiting for asylum in the EU. Of these, about 40 thousand people - those who crossed the Mediterranean in ships - are already in Italy and Greece. To reduce the burden on these countries, the European Commission decided to allocate migrants around all EU countries.

At first it was assumed that the EU states would take the proportion of migrants and refugees in accordance with its population, the size of GDP and unemployment. But not everyone agreed to this.

According to Euronews, against compulsory quotas were Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

The situation with the number of migrants varies not only in the EU but also throughout Europe, including Belarus. According to the National Statistics Committee, in 2012, 18,040 foreigners came to Belarus, in 2013 - 1.5 thousand more, and in 2014 already more than 7,000 - 24,941. During the first quarter of this year there were 7,177 people.

Last year, most people came from Russia (36.6%), Ukraine (25.3%) and Turkmenistan (6.8%). This year, most people came from Ukraine (44.4%), Russia - 28.9%, and Kazakhstan - 6.7%.

The National Statistics Committee noted that these figures only include those foreigners staying in Belarus for over a year.

Head of the Department of Citizenship and Migration at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Alyaksai Byahun, said in June that in the past two years Belarus for the first time faced a massive increase in the number of foreign nationals who are seeking refuge with us.

Last year, 867 foreigners applied for asylum. It is 4 times more than in 2013. Among them are the citizens of Ukraine amounted to 76.5%. From January to May this year, such requests were received from 563 foreigners, of which 76.9% were citizens of Ukraine (the majority - in the south-eastern region of the neighboring country), 11.2% were citizens of Syria, 4.5% - citizens of Afghanistan.

Alyaksai Byahun also said that last year the Ukrainians were granted 20,000 special work permits in Belarus. This year, these have already been received by 8,352 citizens of Ukraine, more than 3 thousand - in preferential order (citizens who arrived from Donetsk and Luhansk regions). In Minsk, the citizens of Ukraine were issued 2,790 special work permits, including 800 of preferential ones.

But, according to Head of the Department, the migration situations in Europe and Belarus differ fundamentally.

"While in Europe there are illegal immigrants, we have legal, managed migration. All within the law: intended transfer for permanent residence, a program of resettlement, temporary residence in connection with the employment, training, etc. We are faced with different problems. While we are managing migration, the EU is trying to manage it," said Alyaksai Byahun.

He also noted that there are no problems with the integration into Belarusian society of the largest immigration flows of Ukrainians. Accommodation is available to them mainly where there is work. Most often it happens in the countryside.