From Berlin’s point of view, the fact that many men are fleeing after the partial mobilization announced in Russia is positive news. The extent to which EU countries should provide aid to those who do not want to fight in Ukraine is controversial. The current Czech presidency of the EU Council has therefore convened a meeting of the 27 EU ambassadors for next Monday.
This shows “how seriously we take current developments in Russia and Ukraine and how determined we are to coordinate an effective response,” it said. In addition, the “perspectives and concerns” of the different countries must be taken into account.
Easier entry into the EU?
So far, the 27 states are far from a common line on how to deal with those men who don’t want to fight for Russia against Ukraine. The main question is whether conscientious objectors should only be able to use the asylum procedure or whether there should be special arrangements to make it easier to enter the EU.
Germany wants to reach a common EU line
The German federal government wants to come to a common line at European level in the coming weeks on how to deal with Russian conscientious objectors, government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in Berlin on Friday. It is “a good sign” that after the partial mobilization announced Wednesday, many Russian men tried to evade military service. The task now is to find a “feasible solution” together with the other EU countries. In this particular situation, it is not enough to point out that anyone who manages to enter the country can apply for asylum.
Expert level meetings planned
A spokesman for the European Commission says the situation is being monitored very closely. An expert-level meeting is planned for the weekend. In addition, the authority points out that those affected have the right to apply for asylum. This is an unprecedented situation and geopolitical concerns and security risks must also be taken into account when deciding who is allowed into the Member States.
Russian tourists can enter the Schengen area via Finland
Until now, Russian tourists could enter the Schengen area by bus or car across the Finnish border. Nearly 6,000 Russians arrived at border crossings in southeastern Finland on Thursday, more than doubling on Thursday a week ago.
Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto announced that Finland would find its own solution. People do not want to become a transit country for Schengen visas that other countries have issued. The border with Russia should not be closed completely. On Friday, the Central Asian ex-Soviet republic of Kazakhstan also informed about the increased migration from Russia. Others, for example, fly to Turkey, where Russians can enter without a visa.