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“This is a civic duty”: Polish Defence Minister backs Ukraine’s consular service suspension for military-age men abroad 

Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz notes he is not surprised by this decision considering the immense need of Ukraine for new soldiers on the frontline.
Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, Polish Defence Minister
Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, Polish Defence Minister. Source: Polsat.news
“This is a civic duty”: Polish Defence Minister backs Ukraine’s consular service suspension for military-age men abroad 

Poland is ready to assist Ukraine in ensuring that Ukrainian men of military age return to their home country to fulfill their “civic duty” and help fight against Russia, according to Polish Defence Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz.

His comments come as Ukraine announced that it stopped providing consular services to men of conscription age living abroad. This means that men aged 18 to 59 won’t be able to renew or obtain new passports unless they go back to Ukraine and register with the military. Unless they have a legal exemption from military service, they will have to join the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry believes.

Kosiniak-Kamysz expressed his understanding of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister’s decision, stating that the Ukrainian authorities are making every effort to send more soldiers to the frontlines due to the immense need, as reported by Polsat News.

Earlier, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Dmytro Kuleba said that safeguarding the rights and interests of Ukrainians living in other countries is and will continue to be a priority for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but the top priority right now remains “Ukraine’s survival under the current circumstances.”

Kosiniak-Kamysz also empathized with Ukrainian soldiers at the front for having valid complaints against their counterparts who had fled to various countries. Earlier, Ukraine’s new mobilization law was criticized for leaving out rules about demobilizing and rotating the military personnel who are currently fighting on the front lines.

“I think many of our compatriots were and are outraged when they see young Ukrainian men in cafes and hear about how much effort it costs us to help Ukraine,” Kosiniak-Kamysz said.

Kosiniak-Kamysz mentioned that Poland had long ago offered to help Ukraine identify those obligated to serve in the military and should return to Ukraine, emphasizing that this is a “civic duty”. He did not provide any specific details on how Poland would help Ukraine in this regard.

As of January 2024, approximately 4.3 million Ukrainians live in European Union countries, with about 860,000 of them being adult men. Poland granted temporary protection status to 950,000 Ukrainians, the second-highest number after Germany, according to Eurostat data.

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