Romania can receive 500,000 refugees from Ukraine, defence minister says
Romania can take in more than 500,000 potential refugees from Ukraine in case Russia invades the country, defence minister Vasile Dincu said. According to him, several areas along the border can shelter refugees if needed.
"There are several estimates, but we could receive over 500,000 refugees, this is the number for which we have prepared together with the Ministry of the Interior and other subordinate institutions. […] There are several places. There is a plan for all major cities, there are areas for this along the border," Dincu said, according to Economica.net.
The minister also said that the country is not expecting a major influx of refugees, but "one never knows." Romania saw few Ukrainian refugees in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea, as most of them went to Poland.
In the same context, Romania is also ready to extract its citizens from Ukraine if necessary. However, Vasile Dincu added that, as far as he knows, no such requests have been made so far.
The Romanian minister also stated that there are conditions for an armed conflict but also "hopes for a de-escalation in the region." "Let's hope diplomats, not the military, will keep talking," he said.
Vasile Dincu also urged the population to remain calm as, even if a conflict in Ukraine would affect the entire region, "there will be no war on our territory."
There are six refugee centres in Romania, in Bucharest and the counties of Timiș, Maramureș, Suceava, Giurgiu and Galați, according to Hotnews.ro. Last year, they reached an occupancy rate of 70%, given that the influx of migrants and, implicitly, the number of asylum seekers increased by more than 50% compared to 2020 and almost four times compared to the year before.
(Photo source: Inquam Photos/Virgil Simonescu)