Baltic leaders: Help needed for countries hosting Ukrainian refugees

Ukrainian refugees' registration center in Tallinn.
Ukrainian refugees' registration center in Tallinn. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Top Baltic states officials are calling for additional funds from the EU for countries where the number of Ukrainian refugees seeking protection has exceeded 1 percent of the population.

"The EU countries bordering Ukraine and the Baltic States bear the greatest financial burden in terms of humanitarian aid and integration support", Lithuania President Gitanas Nauseda, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and Latvian Prime Minister Krišjanis Kariniš wrote in a joint letter to EU officials. 

The current proposals in place for additional EU budget allocations are welcome but not enough, it was written. The Baltic leaders called on the Commission to present proposals as soon as possible.

More than 50,000 Ukrainian refugees have applied for temporary protection in Lithuania, over 43,000 in Estonia and over 26,000 in Latvia. This is over 1 percent for all three countries.

"The war in Ukraine is ongoing and the flow of refugees and the respective financial needs related to hosting them are increasing every day. These costs are currently borne to a large extent by national budgets. We need to share the financial burden that falls disproportionally on the national budgets of the most affected Member States. EU solidarity is crucial to ensure adequate support for war refugees fleeing Ukraine," Nauseda said in a statement.

The letter was sent to President of the Council of Europe Charles Michel, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and President of the French Republic - currently presiding over the European Union – Emmanuel Macron.  


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Editor: Helen Wright

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