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Czech Prime Minister says migrant flow from Ukraine might dramatically increase

September 07, 2015, 0:16 UTC+3 PRAGUE
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PRAGUE, September 6. /TASS/. The Czech Republic is a target country for migrants from Eastern Europe, first of all, from Ukraine, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in an interview with Pravo online on Sunday.

"If people in Ukraine are dissatisfied with its development or face a threat of ongoing war [in Donbass - TASS], they will come here [in the Czech Republic - TASS], and we will have to take care of them," he said.

He said his country was a "target country for migrant flow from Eastern Europe." "That is why we call [on EU partners - TASS] to keep an eye on the development in Ukraine," he said.

The Czech prime minister stressed his country was interested in the soonest settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. "We wish [Ukraine - TASS] economic stabilization and peace. We promote the agreement on Ukraine’s associated membership in the European Union through the [Czech] parliament to prevent a possible third migration wave that might emerge in that region," he said.

The current migration crisis, according to Sobotka, had mostly hurt countries of Western Europe, which were target countries for migrants from North Africa and the Middle East. The Czech Republic, as the entire post-socialist region in Central Europe, in his words, was seen by these people as a transit path to the West.

According to official statistics of the Czech interior ministry, only 60 migrants from Syria have applied for asylum in the Czech Republic whereas more than 350,000 migrants have reached the European Union since the beginning of the current year.

Pravo said more than 1,100 Ukrainian citizens have officially applied for residence permits in the Czech Republic.

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