Support Grows For Housing Ukrainian Refugees as 10 Arrive For Medical Treatment ({{commentsTotal}})

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet has lent support to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves's idea of opening doors to Ukrainian refugees with Estonian roots, while 10 Ukrainians arrive this morning in Tallinn for medical treatment.

The Ukrainians, all civilians suffering from serious wounds from the continuing fighting in eastern Ukraine, will arrive this morning on a special flight to Lennart Meri airport.

They will be taken to the North Estonia Medical Center in Mustamäe, and to other regional hospitals, if necessary, for diagnoses and treatment.

There is no time frame for how long their treatment will last, but a spokesperson for the Ministry of Social Affairs told ERR News that their wounds are much more severe than the five Ukrainians that were flown into Estonia in March for treatment after the shootings at the Euromaidan demonstrations in Kyiv.

Paet, when discussing Estonia's contribution to helping the refugee crisis, said the position of international aid agencies is that entire territory of Ukraine is not consumed by war and internal refugees can be housed elsewhere in the nation, adding that Estonia has lent financial support to those refugees.

“At the same time, people from eastern Ukraine who have relatives in Estonia should be offered refuge from the war,” Paet said.

Karin Kase, media advisor to the Ministry of the Interior, said Estonia is ready to accept those fleeing the war in Ukraine, but each case of asylum will be investigated separately.

Kase said those Ukrainians with relatives in Estonia should apply for a visa or living permit instead.