: Global Voices: How Ukraine is dealing with the European refugee crisis

14:17 Apr. 24, 2016

Global Voices: How Ukraine is dealing with the European refugee crisis

Builders are finishing the camp for refugees from Syria in Yahotyn city, Mar., 3, 2016 (Getty Images)

The refugee center in Yahotyn, a town not far from the Ukrainian capital, was built to refugees from the Middle East

From "health hazards" to "an opportunity to boost the national economy"—this is the broad range of speculations Ukrainian politicians are using to explain what can happen when Ukraine opens its doors to refugees from countries such as Syria.

"It is a crime to take refugees from other countries if your own country is at war and struggling with economic crisis. We have to take care of the migrants from Donbas," said Andriy Illienko, a deputy of the nationalist "Svoboda" party, referring to the ongoing armed conflict that the Donbas region of Ukraine has been involved in for the past two years.

"This issue (Syrian refugees asking for asylum in Ukraine – GV) can soon be on our agenda. When Ukraine becomes part of the European Union, it will have to express solidarity on the issue of refugee reception if necessary," Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Pavlo Klimkin told Ukraine's Channel 5.

Read also Germany seeking 'safe zones' in Syria to shelter refugees

In theory, Ukraine can accept thousands of refugees. While some members of the Ukrainian parliament see in this a potential threat to the health and well-being of Ukrainians, others are already counting the financial benefits promised by the West.

Both supporters and opponents of the idea to accept refugees from the Middle East are missing an important detail. Refugees aren't exactly eager to come to or settle in Ukraine.

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