Authorities revealed that about 53,136 people have arrived in Slovakia via the eastern border since the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.
According to a press release from the Slovak Interior Ministry, 46,618 of the arrivals are Ukrainian citizens – representing nearly 90 percent of all arrivals. Moreover, about 1,774 newcomers were from EU countries, while the number of third-country nationals was 4,774, TheSchengen.com reports.
“Slovakia is a safe passage by citizens of many countries trying to return home through our lands. We would like to point out that not only local Ukrainians are stranded in Ukraine, but also foreigners who have lived there for a long or short period of time, or have worked, Or they were on vacation or studied there,” according to the press release related to various media reports, foreigners crossing the Ukrainian border, especially people from Africa and the Middle East.
In addition, the same source asserts that entry from other countries will not be allowed, but even if these individuals manage to reach Slovakia, their documents, fingerprints and other identification procedures will apply. In contrast, those coming from Ukraine, fleeing the war, are allowed to enter Slovakia without presenting travel documents, given the exceptional circumstances.
The Ministry of the Interior stated on February 25: “After conducting an individual assessment, we will also allow entry into the territory of the Slovak Republic for people who do not have a valid travel document (biometric passport).”
The same source previously reported that about 26,000 Ukrainian citizens have arrived in the country, where 44 people have applied for international protection in Slovakia – one of them is a Russian citizen. More specifically, most people entered Slovakia via the border crossings at Vyšné Nemecky – 13,645 of these and 10,715 at Ubli.
However, the country has asked for help from the European border control agency, Frontex, to manage the immigration situation at the EU’s external borders where an influx of refugees is expected, as Slovakia is a neighboring country to Ukraine, and at the same time acts as a front-line country and an external border for the Schengen area. Earlier, the Minister of the Interior, Roman Miculic, revealed that the country is ready to take in about 40,000 asylum seekers – a number that has already been exceeded since 32 percent, or an additional 13,136 people, entered the country.
In addition, the Interior Ministers of Romania and Moldova revealed that about 26,000 Ukrainian citizens have arrived in their countries, 15,800 and 10,000 respectively. However, as ministers have made clear, refugees are more eager to head towards Western Europe, with 100 asylum applications submitted in Moldova and about 11 in Romania.