Prague - About 250 Ukrainians have applied for asylum in the Czech Republic this year and their number slightly increased in the past few months in relation to the crisis in Ukraine, Pavla Novotna, from the Interior Ministry, told the Senate EU affairs committee today.
Novotna said the Interior Ministry monitors the situation in cooperation with the countries of the Salzburg Group, including Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, to be prepared for a possible wave of refugees.
The Ukrainian government forces have been fighting pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of the country since April. This was preceded by massive street protests in Kiev, toppling pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, and the Russian annexation of Crimea. The West has recently imposed sanctions on Russia, which has banned some Western imports in reaction.
Novotna said no African immigrants are coming to the country from the south via Italy, Spain or Greece because there is no African community in the Czech Republic that the immigrants might join, unlike in some other European countries.
The number of illegal immigrants, who have arrived in Italy from Africa by sea this year, will exceed 100,000 soon.
The Interior Ministry also presented a European Commission report on the EU policy of the return of illegal immigrants to the upper house EU affairs committee today.