Ukraine crisis in Czechia: What's happening now (May 6)

A daily dispatch on how the war in Ukraine is impacting life in the Czech Republic.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 02.05.2022 12:04:00 (updated on 06.05.2022) Reading time: 11 minutes

May 6, 2022

SANCTIONS Czechia to get exception to oil embargo until mid-2024

  • The European Commission proposed Czechia gets an exception to imported Russian oil that would be valid until mid-2024, while Slovakia and Hungary would enjoy the exception until the end of 2024, Reuters news agency wrote today, referring to its diplomatic sources.


  • Within the sixth sanction package, the EC proposed a complete ban on the imports of Russian oil to the EU by the year's end on Wednesday. According to the previous plan, Slovakia and Hungary would get a year exception because they are the most dependent on Russian oil. Budapest and Bratislava refused to support the EC proposal and asked for a considerably longer transition period.


  • The Czech Republic asked for some more time to secure a sufficient reserve from the TAL Transalpine oil pipeline leading from Trieste in Italy, too. Under the updated EC proposal, Czechia would have time to stock up by June 2024. The embargo may be imposed before this deadline if the TAL capacity increases and Czechia manages to stock up.


AID Germany to help Czechs replace equipment sent to Ukraine

  • Germany will help Czechia replace the military equipment Prague would provide to Ukraine that faces Russian invasion, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said at a joint press conference with Czech PM Petr Fiala after their talks in Berlin today, and Fiala said the planned agreement is very concrete and is related to heavy equipment. Germany and Czechia thus can use their potential, where Prague can supply the weapons the Ukrainian military needs to Kyiv, Fiala said.


Refugees

  • The Czech Republic has granted so far 328,511 emergency visas to the refugees affected by the war in Ukraine, including 1,757 visas on Thursday, which is roughly 300 more than a week ago.


  • Since Monday, the refugees have been bound to report a change in their place of residence in Czechia in three days instead of the previous 30. The deadline for them to register with the immigration police after their entry into the Czech Republic has been cut in the same way. According to the ministry, this step will enable to use the accommodation capacities in individual towns more effectively.


  • Interior Minister Vít Rakušan told reporters on Thursday that many people were leaving the Czech Republic. Nevertheless, Czechia cannot monitor all movement of the refugees because it is not a Schengen border country, he added. Therefore, it has more precise data about the incomers than about the people leaving the country.


FEATURED EMPLOYERS

Policy Czechia and Poland agree on aid to Ukraine

  • Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský, on a visit to Warsaw, and his Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau agreed on the need to further help Ukraine fight for the maintenance of its sovereignty, Rau told a press conference after their meeting today.


  • With the issue of the Turow lignite mine solved, dynamism has returned to Polish-Czech relations, Rau said, adding that intergovernmental consultations are scheduled for early June.


May 5, 2022

POlicy Fiala to discuss Ukraine and energy policy with Scholz in Ukraine

  • Czech PM Petr Fiala wants to discuss the events in Ukraine, energy security, and German-Czech relations upon his visit to Germany. In particular, the PM wants to address the possibility to use German liquefied natural gas terminals for the reserves to be available in Czechia with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Fiala said before departure this morning.


Sanctions Czechia in talks on EU oil embargo exemption

  • The Czech Republic will seek an exemption period to the European Union's proposed embargo of Russian oil, gaining time for pipeline capacities to be increased, Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on Wednesday. PM also noted that the country has been trying to get that postponement for two or three years.


  • The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a phased oil embargo on Russia, along with other tough measures to punish Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. The measures include phasing out supplies of Russian crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of 2022.


REFUGEES

  • Czech authorities addressed four private lodging providers over accommodation for Roma refugees from Ukraine and started accommodating refugees in two state premises, Interior Minister Vít Rakušan said. For various reasons, regional authorities rejected using most state buildings from a list that the Interior Ministry presented to regional governors for accommodating Ukrainian Roma, he said.


  • Czechia has granted so far 326,754 emergency visas to the refugees affected by the war in Ukraine, including some 1,900 visas on Wednesday. In addition, 2,579 refugees registered with the immigration police, and in total, 220, 401 people have done so since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started on February 24.

AID Hradec Králové sends more humanitarian aid to West Ukraine

  • The Czech government will give a further €18 million for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, which means €40 million in total, Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský said at a donor conference in Warsaw today. He said the Czech Republic could organize a donor conference in late 2022 during its six-month presidency of the Council of the European Union.


  • The Hradec Králové Region has sent humanitarian aid worth over 500,000 crowns to its partner in western Ukraine, the Zakarpattia Region, which is another such supply after the humanitarian aid worth 1.5 million crowns in early March. The Czech region bought and donated to Zakarpattia 14 electric power generator units, 25 washing machines, 25 microwave ovens, and 25 electric kettles. "The partner region asked us for an exactly specified aid. In a small area, they care for the approximately same number of refugees as the whole Czech Republic does," Hradec Králové region governor Martin Červíček said.

MAY 4, 2022

REFUGEES More than 34,000 refugees have found work in Czechia

  • According to the Labor Office, more than 34,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine have found a job in the Czech Republic. Refugees with visas for the purpose of temporary protection do not need a work permit or an employment card.


  • Migrants are less likely to report to the police that they became victims of a crime, says Ukrainian sociologist at Charles University Marie Jelinkova. Thus, reported cases are only the tip of the iceberg. On top of that, women and children who make up a crushing majority of migrants from Ukraine are particularly vulnerable when it comes to human trafficking, sexual and labor exploitation, Jelinkova added.


  • On Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior issued 2,035 emergency visas to Ukrainians fleeing from the war, about 200 more than a week ago. Around 3,000 refugees registered with the immigration police yesterday, while a total of 217,822 have registered since the beginning of the Russian invasion. 


sanctions New sanctions to end Russian oil imports, Slovakia and Hungary exempt

  • The European Commission is proposing to ban Russian oil imports into the EU by the end of this year. This was announced today by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. According to her, the European bloc will also disconnect Russia's largest bank Sberbank and two other banks from the international payment system SWIFT as part of the sixth package of anti-Russian sanctions.


  • For sanctions to take effect, they must be approved unanimously by the Member States. According to diplomats, a discussion on the oil embargo is expected. However, Hungary and Slovakia, which refuse to support them, should be granted an exemption for oil imports next year.


  • The European Commission also wants to punish military officials responsible for the atrocities against civilians in Bucha and Mariupol. Three Russian state television stations broadcasting Kremlin propaganda are to be banned from broadcasting in EU countries.


  • The sanctions also reportedly target the head of the Russian Orthodox Church.


AID Most Czechs support help to Ukraine, but it is too generous

  • Almost nine out of ten people in the Czech Republic are supporting humanitarian aid to Ukraine attacked by Russia, but 60 percent believe that the support to the refugees is too generous and ordinary Czechs will pay dearly for it, according to a poll conducted by the Focus agency.


  • Out of the 60 percent of those describing the support to refugees as too generous, most have elementary education and are men.


May 3, 2022

POLICY U.S. First Lady to visit Ukrainian refugees on trip to Slovakia

  • U.S. First Lady Jill Biden will meet Ukrainian refugees in eastern Slovakia during her five-day trip to eastern Europe on Mothers’ Day on Sunday, the White House announced. Biden’s journey is to start in Romania on Thursday. Along with the refugees, she also wants to meet U.S. servicemen and diplomats, Slovak and Romanian government representatives, humanitarian staff, and Slovak hosts of the displaced people in Košice and in Vyšné Nemecké, a small village on the border with Ukraine, on May 8. Biden will travel to eastern Slovakia from Bratislava where she will stop at the U.S. embassy and finish the trip with a meeting of the so far unspecified Slovak leaders on May 9.
  • The governments of a dozen EU countries, including the Czech Republic, have asked the European Commission to release more money in aid for tackling the ramifications of war and providing an adequate response to the evolving refugee crisis. A joint letter was released in Politico today proposing that extraordinary reserves from the EU budget be allocated to this purpose and subsidies for particular countries in cohesion funds be used more flexibly.

refugees Roma refugees camp near Brno railway station

  • A group of about 30 Roma refugees from Ukraine have created a camp near the main railway station in Brno after they reportedly refused the offered accommodation, said Czech police spokesman Pavel Šváb. According to iDNES.cz, the Roma refugees claim that no accommodation was offered to them. "We settled here because they told us in the assistance center that they had no place for us," said one of the women. Regional spokeswoman Alena Knotková said that in the event of a refusal of accommodation, refugees are not entitled to another claim.
  • Czechia has granted emergency visas to 322,822 Ukrainians fleeing from the war, including 2,799 on Monday, about the same as a week ago.

     

  • The highest number of Ukrainian refugees is located in Prague. The Interior Ministry's latest data show that over 75,000 Ukrainians have been granted special visas in the Czech capital, and more than 80,000 of them sought aid from the Prague assistance center for refugees operating also for Central Bohemia.

AID Prague increased funding for Ukraine

  • The capital allocated a total of CZK 500 million to help Ukraine. The original CZK 250 million approved at the beginning of the war were doubled following the decision of the Prague councilors. Pavel Vyhnánek, Deputy Mayor of Prague, said the original CZK 250 million have already been used. The newly allocated amount will be used for a variety of purposes – from accommodation and food for refugees to direct material assistance to Ukraine.

May 2, 2022

POLICY Fiala and Polish counterpart promise tougher sanctions against Russia

  • Earlier this morning, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala tweeted "Together with Poland, we will support further, tougher sanctions against Russia on EU soil and we will work to bring our other friends in Europe to join them." He added that Czechia will push for Ukrainian EU inclusion. The PM visited Warsaw last week to meet with his Polish counterpart Mateusz Morawiecki.


  • The Czech Republic is for the time being the only country to show interest in joining the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) instead of Russia, UN General Assembly chairman's spokesman Paulina Kubiak has told the AFP agency. Other countries can still submit their membership bid. On May 10, the General Assembly will decide on who will fill the vacant seat. Based on the rules, the seat lost by Moscow should go to a country from Central or East Europe.


  • Energy ministers from European Union countries will hold emergency talks on Monday, to form a united response to Moscow’s demand that European buyers pay for Russian gas in rubles or face their supply being cut off. According to Bloomberg, Hungarian Minister Gergely Gulyas said, "We will veto any tightening of sanctions that would reduce the availability of energy resources."

REFUGEES New rules for refugees go into effect today

  • The capital's Pražana Portal has posted complete information on its website for those providing accommodation for people fleeing the war in Ukraine. Both legal entities such as businesses and NGOs and private individuals who have provided free accommodation to refugees since February 24, can find out more about their entitlement to a compensatory allowance here and apply for it directly via the Pražana Portal.


  • Czechia granted 1,238 temporary protection visas on Sunday to refugees fleeing war in Ukraine, some 400 more than on the previous Sunday. The total number of visas issued since the February 24 start of the conflict has reached 320,023, the Interior Ministry tweeted today. Foreign police registered 1,942 refugees on Sunday. Almost 210,000 have registered since the start of the Russian aggression.


  • As of today, the refugees are required to report a change in their place of residence in Czechia in three days instead of the previous 30. The deadline for them to register with the immigration police after entry into the Czech Republic has also been reduced to three days. According to the ministry, this step will enable the use of the accommodation capacities in individual towns more effectively.


  • The Guardian is reporting that following the string of mysterious explosions that hit government buildings in Transnistria, the Moscow-backed separatist region of Moldova, inhabitants of the Russian-speaking region are heading west to destinations including the Czech Republic. The Guardian writes, "Adding to the uncertainty [are] growing rumors that men in the region would be mobilized to fight alongside Russian troops across the border in Ukraine."


Support Weekend rallies in Prague and Brno support Ukraine

  • About 200 people, mainly Ukrainian women and children gathered in Brno's Dominikánské náměstí Sunday in support of Ukraine. Speeches were delivered in Ukrainian, with Ukrainian choir songs, including the national anthem, celebrating the heroism of the people of Ukraine. Participants drew attention to the killing of children by the Russian invaders and to the fact that European states continue paying Russia for gas and oil supplies.


  • In the capital on May Day, a stand appeared in the Old Town Square acquainting people with the developments in Ukraine faced with Russian aggression. "It is no demonstration, our goal is to tell people what has been happening in Ukraine," Sona Pospisilova, from the Prague Maidan group operating the stand said.
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