Ukraine: Berlin proposes a distribution of refugees in Europe via an airlift

Ukrainian refugees cross the border with Poland at the Kroscienko checkpoint, fleeing the Russian invasion, March 17, 2022. REUTERS - FABRIZIO BENSCH

Text by: RFI Follow

2 mins

The number of Ukrainian refugees fleeing their country at war could increase significantly.

Already, the nearest countries have welcomed many people, but the burden could become very heavy for them.

The German Foreign Minister has proposed a distribution of refugees across Europe using air transfers to countries furthest from Ukraine.


Read more

With our correspondent in Berlin,

Pascal Thibaut

An airlift.

In the late 1940s, it was used to supply West Berlin blocked by Soviet forces.

Today, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock is proposing that Ukrainian refugees be transported

from border countries, 

where they were first received, to western Europe, or even across the Atlantic.

Over three million Ukrainians have fled their country so far;

they may be eight million according to certain estimates.

According to Annalena Baerbock, this would mean, if necessary, for each country the reception of several hundred thousand people.

 To read also: War in Ukraine, the Polish city of Krakow overwhelmed by refugees

If the Eastern European countries could by such a measure reduce the number of Ukrainians to be taken care of on their soil, they fear that such a process with quotas by country will not become permanent in the future.

However, these same States had refused after the arrival of many Syrian refugees a few years ago the establishment of such quotas.

Germany, which in 2015 welcomed many migrants, has always pleaded unsuccessfully for such a solution.

225,000 Ukrainian refugees have been registered so far in Germany;

a figure which is undoubtedly greatly underestimated.

Germany is striving internally as it wishes for Europe to better distribute the new arrivals who first go to large cities, starting with the capital.

Follow live: The European Union is considering new sanctions against Russia


Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Ukraine

  • Russia

  • Germany

  • European Union