Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
In response to Putin’s announcement Tuesday that Russia will be mobilizing 300,000 reservists in an escalation of the war on Ukraine, the EU has been scrambling to get on the same page regarding providing asylum to Russians fleeing the draft.
On Thursday, a spokeswoman for the European Commission said that the EU should provide asylum to Russians dodging Putin’s mobilization. However, several member states disagree. Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia have already announced that they will not provide asylum to fleeing Russians.
The Czech Republic joined the Baltic states on Thursday in declining to provide asylum. “I understand that Russians are fleeing from ever more desperate decisions by Putin. But those running because they don’t want to fulfill a duty imposed by their own government, they don’t meet the criteria for humanitarian visa” said Czech Foreign Minister, Jan Lipavsky.
Despite the lack of cooperation from the Czech Republic and other members of the EU, Germany has indicated that it will provide a safe haven for those running from Putin’s escalation. “Deserters threatened with serious repression, as a rule, obtain international protection in Germany,” said German Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser.
Meanwhile, the EU spokeswoman for migration, Anita Hipper, said that EU members are working together to find an agreeable solution to what she described as an “unprecedented” situation.