Polish Refugee Hypocrisy

Stop This Now!

Stop This Now!

While on the official visit to Germany, the Polish president spoke of thousands of Ukrainian citizens seeking asylum in Poland. While, technically speaking, President Andrzej Duda is correct about the number of Ukrainian refugees who have applied for asylum in Poland, not a single one has received refugee status. Another Polish politician, Robert Biedroń used social media to disseminate an infographic showing the actual numbers for 2014. Polish journalists quickly verified the data and Biedroń was proved correct: out of the 2,253 refugees who applied for asylum in 2014, not even one was granted refugee status, six received Polish extended protection, and 11 were granted tolerated residence permits. Negative decisions were taken in 645 cases and another 372 cases were dismissed. In the first half of 2015, Poland received 1,284 applications for asylum. Again, not a single Ukrainian refugee was granted refugee status, 2 received extended protection, and 3 were granted tolerated residence permits. Tolerated stay differs from refugee status: it does not involve obtaining a new passport or any financial aid; it is also valid for a limited time only, which makes finding a job practically impossible.
gazeta.pl

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Duda on Immigrants

Tackling the Issues?

Tackling the Issues?

Newly elected Polish President Andrzej Duda has commented on the immigration crisis in Europe. The context of his words follow the drama in Austria when the bodies of 71 people were found in an abandoned truck, refugees from Syria. “When it comes to the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, Poland will face a very serious problem,” stated Duda. He was on an official visit to Berlin. After meeting German President Joachim Gauck he stressed that the development of further strategic cooperation with Germany will contribute to the deepening of European security. He also took the floor on the issue of refugees, which is a growing challenge for the nations of the Old Continent. “In the face of war in Ukraine, thousands of citizens of this country have applied for asylum in Poland. And it is our greatest concern. We want this smouldering conflict in Ukraine to end and not escalate,” said Duda.
onet.pl

Military Aid for Ukraine?

Still Need Help

Still Need Help

According to recent surveys, the majority of Poles are against providing military help to Ukraine. When the authorities of Ukraine asked for help with military training of their soldiers, British Prime Minister David Cameron declared that the UK would send 75 qualified British soldiers who were supposed to develop the skills of Ukraine’s soldiers. The Polish authorities issued a similar declaration. Poland takes part in Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP). The purpose of the initiative is to help Ukraine achieve and increase certain military standards that are applied in NATO. Training courses will take place on Polish territory.
polska.newsweek.pl

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NATO is on Alert

Red Alert?

Red Alert?

The Polish Defence Minister Tomasz Siemoniak has been commenting on Russian air force operations over Europe and he claims that NATO is watchful and is engaging in appropriate measures. “Yesterday’s news shows that NATO is alert, our system is working and we have noted the intensification of activities. NATO will ask Russia for explanations as they exceeded all accepted norms for military activity,” said the Minister. The head of the Defence Ministry (MON) was present at a conference organised to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the military hospital on Szaserów Street in Warsaw. Jay Jasen, spokesman for the alliance said that NATO aircraft were scrambled several times because of the unprecedented scale of Russian air force operations within European airspace. “Four air formations consisting of Tu-95 strategic bombers, MiG-31 fighters and other Russian military aircraft were active in airspace over the Baltic, the North Sea and the Black Sea as well as the Atlantic,” according to the spokesman. Russian units did not give their flight schedule nor did they make radio contact with civil air traffic authorities. NATO scrambled Norwegian, UK, Portuguese, German and Turkish aircraft. No accidents were recorded. Relations between NATO and Russia have been tense since the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March. According to the alliance only last week Russian aerial reconnaissance aircraft encroached on NATO airspace over Latvia.
wp.pl

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Highway to Ukraine

Improving Infrastructure

Improving Infrastructure

Drivers travelling on A4 highway can already use the new Korczowa junction. This is the last section on Polish territory which enables drivers to exit the A4 before crossing the Polish-Ukrainian border. Joanna Rarus, spokeswoman of the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA), informed the public that the road was built as part of the A4 Przemyśl-Korczowa section. The Greek contractors J&P Avax, who should have finished in December 2013, only recently finished. It now gives drivers the possibility to choose an alternative road just after crossing the border from Ukraine. Rarus says that the location of the road will have a great impact on the future development of the border area as well as creating economic zones. The Korczowa road will become the new terminal for passenger vehicles on the border. The Przemyśl to Korczowa section cost PLN 818m. The Greek contractors built more than 11 engineering facilities, 16 culverts for animals as well as two rest areas. Two sections of the A4 in Podkarpacie province from Rzeszów to Jarosław still need to be built. The procedure for selecting a new contractor is currently in progress as the GDDKiA had to sever its contract with the previous constructor. The section of highway from Tarnów to Dębica should be completed this year. The entire A4 highway was supposed to be finished in time for Euro 2012. When completed, the entire length of the A4 will be 670km.
tvn24bis.pl

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Ukrainian Children Wanted

Ukrainian Children Wanted

Ukrainian or Polish Children?

The most depopulated counties in province of Subcarpathia (Podkarpacie) have taken steps to attract young Poles living in Ukraine to Poland. The Tadeusz Kościuszko high school in Lubaczów is offering young Poles living in the Ukraine free sets of student books, a scholarship and subsidised accommodation and board, according to Gazeta Wyborcza. “The counties of Przemyśl and Lubaczów are the most depopulated counties in the province of Subcarpathia. Thankfully, we cannot complain about a lack of candidates for school and this year we have six first-form classes, but we need to think about the future and have therefore begun advertising ourselves in Ukraine,” says Zbigniew Hypiak, the headmaster of the high school in Lubaczów. This offer is addressed to Poles who live in Ukraine and who possess a Polish Card (Karta Polaka), which affords people with Polish roots, who cannot obtain Polish citizenship, certain rights that would otherwise not be available to them.
polska.newsweek.pl

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Trade with Ukraine

Tough Trading

Tough Trading

MEPs have accepted a report on improving trade relations with Ukraine, compiled by Paweł Zalewski, a Polish MEP. It raises the idea of opening up the EU market to Ukrainian goods. Nearly 98% of duties will be waived, duties which must be paid by Ukrainian producers of iron, steel and machinery. The estimated benefits for the Ukrainian economy is nearly half a billion euro a year. “This is the first concrete example of EU support for Ukraine and I hope that there will be more,” said Paweł Zalewski. He emphasised that Ukraine is under tremendous pressure from the Kremlin, not only political and military, but also economic. “If Vladimir Putin closes the Russia market for Ukrainian products, then the European Union should open up for Ukraine,” he said. At the same time Ukraine will not be not obliged to introduce similar facilities for EU exporters.
biznes.gazetaprawna.pl

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