The European Union should be ready for five million people fleeing Ukraine, says top diplomat

The European Union “needs to prepare for five million” refugees from Ukraine, the EU’s high representative Josep Borrell told journalists on Monday ahead of a meeting of European foreign ministers in Montpellier, France.

“We need to be prepared to receive five million people. We know that with the Syrian crisis in the 2015-16 years, which was the migrant crisis in Europe, we were talking about 1.5 million people; now it’s going to be much more,” said Borrell.

Borrell said the EU must mobilize not just humanitarian aid, but also the bloc’s resources to support the EU countries bordering Ukraine set to receive refugees.

Some background: On Sunday, the UN refugee agency commissioner Filippo Grandi said more than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine had crossed into neighboring countries in 10 days, describing the situation as “the fastest growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II.”

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