The pro-countryside party BBB has suggested sending Ukrainian nationals back to parts of their country which are currently untouched by war.
“We cannot house everyone,” BBB parliamentarian Mona Keijzer is reported as saying during Monday’s debate on the government’s budget for dealing with refugees. It is almost two years since Russia invaded Ukraine and the Netherlands welcomed tens of thousands of Ukrainians.
“The west of the country seems to me to be relatively stable,” she said. “Could Ukrainians not be housed there safely? Keijzer asked refugee minister Eric van der Burg.
The MP also wanted to know what the position of the caretaker cabinet would be if Kyiv asked for Ukrainian nationals who could be conscripted to be sent back. It could be that hundreds of thousands of people required to do military service have fled abroad and some could be in the Netherlands, she said.
GroenLinks/PvdA parliamentarian Julian Bushoff said the BBB’s suggestions were “new and worrying”. It is incomprehensible that the BBB is considering sending people back to a country at war, he said.
Keijzer also suggested that Ukrainian nationals who have found work in the Netherlands pay rent and healthcare costs even though many of them already do so.
Ukrainian nationals are not considered refugees and are allowed to work without restrictions. According to national statistics agency CBS almost half of them have a job, mainly via staffing agencies.
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