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Estonia's stance on repatriation of Ukrainian citizens amid war

Estonia's stance on repatriation of Ukrainian citizens amid war Photo: Estonia's plans to return potential conscripts to Ukraine (facebook com politseijapiirivalveamet)

The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Estonia does not have a plan for the forced repatriation to Ukraine of its citizens who legally reside in Estonia and fled due to the war. This includes men of conscription age who could potentially be mobilized in their homeland, stated Anneli Viks, a Anneli Viks, Adviser of the citizenship and migration policy department adviser at the Ministry of the Interior.

"Mobilization is a matter concerning the state and its citizens. The Ministry of Internal Affairs does not have a plan for the forced repatriation of Ukrainian citizens legally residing in Estonia who fled due to the war, including Ukrainian citizens who belong to the target group for potential Ukrainian mobilization," noted Viks.

As of April 26, according to the agency, 6,500 Ukrainian men aged 18-60 had residence permits in Estonia based on temporary protection.

Viks mentioned that if Ukrainian citizens of conscription age are unable to exchange their expired passports for new ones at the Ukrainian embassy, they will lose the ability to travel.

"However, the absence of a valid travel document does not restrict the possibility of applying for or renewing a residence permit, including on the basis of temporary protection," she added.

The counselor also emphasized that the current procedure allows for the identification or verification of a person based on other evidence. However, a foreigner cannot apply for a visa without a valid travel document.


Ukrainian authorities previously banned the issuing of passports to men aged 18 to 60 who are abroad. Consular services have also been restricted since April 23.

The Ukrainian government explains this by the new mobilization law. Consular services are planned to resume on May 18 when the law takes effect but under new conditions.

Poland has indicated that it may assist Ukraine in returning men of conscription age. However, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Poland later promised to provide temporary protection to Ukrainian refugees without passports.

Specifically, Poland believes that Ukraine should take the initiative to bring back men of conscription age from abroad.