By Uganda Online Correspondent
British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has announced that fleeing Ukrainians will be allowed entry into the United Kingdom provided they have immediate family members residing in the country.
This is part of a new £40 million humanitarian package to supply necessities and medical supplies.
“We’re providing all the military and economic support we can to help those Ukrainians risking everything to protect their country,” Johnson said.
“In the last days, the world has witnessed awe-inspiring displays of bravery and heroism from the Ukrainian people in response to those who seek to obliterate their freedom by force.”
Johnson said more details of the new Ukrainian visa policy will be announced in Parliament this week.
“We want to be as generous as we possibly can to Ukraine, and indeed we want people who have relatives in Ukraine to be able to bring them over as fast as possible.
“We want to make sure that we have routes for Ukrainians fleeing disaster, war, persecution in Ukraine to come here,” the Prime Minister told reporters.
More than 368,000 people have already fled their homes in Ukraine, while several thousand have crossed into neighboring countries including Moldova, Romania, and Poland, the United Nations has said.
The UN warns up to five million people could be displaced by the conflict.
Charities have urged the UK to match the effort it made after the 1990s conflict in the former Yugoslavia, as Ukrainians have been claiming Britain has made it “difficult” to legally enter.
Speaking on a visit to the Royal Air Force Brize Norton station on Saturday night, the PM said he’s aware of “fake news being circulated on the internet” in regards to Britain’s willingness to take refugees from Eastern Europe.
“Of course, we’re going to take refugees these countries had a historic and proud role in taking refugees from all conflicts and if you think what we did in Afghanistan, for instance, UK was way out.
“In fact, I’m aware that there’s some fake news on the Internet about that and I really want to knock that on the head..
“The UK is way out in front in our willingness to help with refugees. We’ve sent 1000 troops to, to the theatre to be ready to help with the influx and of course, we will help people fleeing in fear of their lives.
In a letter to the PM, the charities including the Refugee Council said: “A generation ago, the UK saved the lives of thousands of families from the Balkans through an evacuation and resettlement program.
“The government should now respond with a well-resourced initiative working with councils across the country, to welcome Ukrainians who need sanctuary.”
Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko said neighboring nations to Ukraine have “opened up their hearts and homes” to receive as many Ukrainians as possible.