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Whether Poland and other countries can forcefully return men liable for military service to Ukraine: Kulpa explains

How the termination of consular services will affect Ukrainians abroad. Source: Depositphotos.

Poland, like other democratic countries, will never take such a step as extraditing to Ukraine men who are subject to military service and are classified as evaders at home but are recognized as refugees abroad. And consular services to citizens are a matter of domestic policy, not foreign policy.

Former member of the Polish Government Piotr Kulpa told OBOZ.UA how the termination of consular services for Ukrainians abroad will affect the attitude of Western countries toward them. He called it absolute nonsense to talk about the West extraditing "evaders" to Ukraine.

"This categorically does not fit into any plane. Because this would be possible for countries that are dictatorships, provided that Ukraine is a dictatorship. But as for democratic countries, there are human rights and so on. Especially since these are refugees, which is what we are talking about. There is no such possibility only voluntarily," the Polish expert said.

Kulpa also explained what the termination of consular services means for Ukrainians abroad.

"First, it may mean that a citizen cannot vote, cannot run for office. These are millions of people who will be cut off from the opportunity to participate in determining the fate of Ukraine. It turns out that this is a division of citizens into two categories – those who are ready to defend their homeland and those who are at risk of administrative violations. Because until now, it was the case that not registering was an administrative offense," the Polish politician said.

According to Piotr Kulpa, such a step by Ukraine will affect the status of Ukrainians abroad. After all, if Ukrainians are left without passports, the countries in which they live will issue them a so-called travel passport that will not indicate their citizenship.

At the same time, the Polish politician emphasized that the partner countries would not be able to forcefully return men who are liable for military service to Ukraine.

"Absolutely not, no, and no again. What can they do? They can create conditions, for example, they can create financial support programs for those who agree to go. They may need to establish, for example, financial support. But not in a violent way, there are no such possibilities," Piotr Kulpa emphasized.

He noted that Poland has adopted laws for refugees until October 2025, and until then, all their rights remain. For example, the child allowance of $200 per month is still in place, provided that the child fulfills his or her school obligations.

At the same time, there have been some restrictions that will affect Ukrainian refugees in Poland. In particular, the housing search.

"Previously, a Pole could receive compensation for providing accommodation for refugees from Ukraine. Now, this can only be done by professional institutions, either state-owned or those that have an agreement with the state, such as hotels, and state centers, this type of thing. These compensations will no longer be paid to private individuals," Kulpa explained.

Accordingly, the Poles will be less interested in providing housing for Ukrainian refugees, so it will be harder to find and housing prices will rise.

"But in general, nothing changes, everything remains the same, everything is normal and nothing will happen (repression, forced eviction or deportation - Ed.)," the Polish politician emphasized.

Piotr Kulpa also commented on the statement by Polish Defense Minister Kosyniak-Kamysh that Poland is allegedly ready to help return Ukrainians who are liable for military service

"He meant that it was voluntary, and he apologized to those who misunderstood and thought that there would be violence and some kind of repression. This is simply unacceptable," said Piotr Kulpa, a former member of the Polish government.

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