Poland encourages Ukrainians to go back home to fight

(MENAFN) Poland has entered into a bilateral security agreement with Ukraine aimed at bolstering Kiev's efforts to mobilize additional troops amidst ongoing conflict with Russia. Signed by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, the treaty outlines Warsaw's commitment to "encourage" Ukrainian citizens of military age currently residing in Poland to return to Ukraine and join its armed forces and other defense units.

Despite Ukraine's adoption of significant reforms earlier this year to combat draft evasion, the country continues to face challenges in conscripting more troops. Reports suggest that many Ukrainian men prefer to avoid mobilization efforts or risk perilous journeys to illegally cross borders into the European Union, as highlighted by Western media outlets.

Senior Ukrainian officials have urged Western nations hosting Ukrainian men of military age to persuade them to return home and participate in defense efforts. Mikhail Podoliak, an aide to President Zelensky, previously advocated for measures to restrict residency permits, aid, and job opportunities for Ukrainians abroad who do not comply with reporting their details to Ukraine's Defense Ministry.

Under Kiev's mobilization reform, Ukrainian men residing abroad face the prospect of denied consular services if they fail to register their information with the Defense Ministry, a measure introduced in April ahead of the formal implementation of the new conscription system.

Poland, which has provided temporary residence to approximately 950,000 Ukrainians since the conflict erupted in 2022, stands as one of the EU countries hosting the largest number of Ukrainian refugees. In April, Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz underscored Warsaw's commitment to exploring avenues to support Ukraine's conscription efforts amidst the ongoing geopolitical tensions in Eastern Europe.



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