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Ukrainian citizens forced to leave country amid war, economic crisis - reports

November 07, 2014, 16:57 UTC+3 KIEV
Ukraine’s Migration Service said the number of Ukrainians seeking to obtain foreign passports has grown 30% in the first nine months of the year, reaching over 1.2 million people
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© ITAR-TASS/Dmitry Rogulin

KIEV, November 7. /TASS/. Military actions in southeastern Ukraine and the economic crisis have led to a sharp increase in a number of nationals fleeing the country to find refuge abroad, the Vesti newspaper reported on Friday.

Ukraine’s Migration Service said the number of Ukrainians seeking to obtain foreign passports has grown 30% in the first nine months of the year, reaching over 1.2 million people.

Poland’s Embassy has seen an increased demand for visas from Ukrainians. “We are approaching a 1 million benchmark in visas, issued this year to Ukrainians. Last year, the number stood at slightly above 700,000,” Poland’s Ambassador Genrich Litvin said.

Various social groups are seeking to leave Ukraine, ranging from students to entrepreneurs, who register or buy business abroad, namely in Poland and Lithuania.

“Our firm receives such requests from one or two persons each week. People choose the easiest way to leave - business immigration,” a representative of a law company, Vladimir Yasko, told the newspaper.

Business immigration gives individuals a guarantee for staying in a country. “You are tied up with the state, that’s why you invest money there, and the state is attached to you as a tax payer,” he said.

The lawyer explained opening businesses in Poland or Lithuania needs a start-up budget of 15,000 euros, a sum lower than in other countries.

Experts believe that “many Ukrainians are on the starting blocks to run abroad,” amid the deepening economic crisis and lack of clear prospects of ending the eastern Ukrainian conflict.

Some 226,000 Ukrainian nationals sought a refugee status or a temporary asylum in Russia since the ongoing military conflict hit the former Soviet republic, the Russian Federal Migration Service (FMS) said in late October.

Last month, Russian president’s economic advisor Sergey Glazyev predicted that with shrinking economy and a deteriorating balance of payments, Ukraine’s default is becoming inevitable.

Glazyev said that Ukraine has already entered the phase of an economic catastrophe and the country’s economy will need at least between $100 billion to $120 billion to recover.

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