At its today’s sitting, the European Union Affairs Committee of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) approved Estonia’s positions for the European Union Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting, according to which Estonia supports extension of the implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive until March 2025 to ensure the continuation of support for Ukrainian war refugees on a uniform basis.
Chair of the European Union Affairs Committee Liisa Pakosta noted that as Russia’s war in Ukraine continued, many homes and workplaces in Ukraine had been destroyed and civilians were still being murdered, continuing of support to war refugees was clearly necessary. “Many people cannot return home because their homes no longer exist or they have to run to shelters every night. The Riigikogu decided to extend granting of temporary protection to Ukrainian refugees. This will give each Ukrainian family a possibility to decide whether they continue to need temporary protection and when they can return home, because before that, new homes, workplaces or maybe whole settlements have to be rebuilt,” Pakosta said.
Deputy Chair of the Committee Maria Jufereva-Skuratovski pointed out that Ukraine was interested in the returning of its people to their homes, but at the moment, the country most of all needed weapons to fight for its territory and freedom. “At the moment, the Ukrainian refugees have no place they can return to. When the time comes, we are naturally ready to support it,” Jufereva-Skuratovski said. She added that it was clear that Ukraine would need to carry out extensive reconstruction work before that.
It was stated at the meeting that one-year extension meant an additional need of 1.6 million, which would cover the costs relating to both international and temporary protection. It was also pointed out that if the war continued after a year, the implementation of the Temporary Protection Directive could be extended again, but this would have to be a decision taken by all Member States.
The European Union Affairs Committee approved Estonia’s positions for the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting that will be held in Brussels on Thursday. The representatives of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party Parliamentary Group abstained at the voting, saying that it was necessary to deal separately with deserters, whose maintenance was not right in their opinion.
For more information, please contact: Liisa Pakosta, phone +372 502 6191
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