The European Union will provide temporary protection for a year to all Ukrainian refugees displaced by the war, the EU said on Thursday.
The move will give Ukrainians instant rights to live and work within the EU, news portal Politico Europe reported.
The decision was made quickly and unanimously by all 27 member states.
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson called the decision "historic". This is the first time the Temporary Protection Directive legislation has been enacted in the history of the union.
The move was welcomed by the Estonian Refugee Council.
The organization wrote on social media: "Today, for the first time in history, the European Union decided to activate the Temporary Protection Directive. This means that all Ukrainians who fled from February 24 will be granted semi-automatic protection for one year. We welcome this decision!"
But added: "At the same time, we hope that Estonia will effectively extend its protection status to Ukrainians who have arrived earlier."
Editor: Helen Wright