Poland expects more Ukrainian refugees

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Mariusz Kamiński praised Ukrainians fighting for freedom against a much stronger enemy. Rafał Guz/PAP

Poland is expecting thousands of Ukrainian refugees to cross the country's border in the days to come, as about 200,000 had already entered Poland by the fourth day of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the interior minister has said.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Mariusz Kamiński praised Ukrainians fighting for freedom against a much stronger enemy.

"On behalf of the Polish government, and I think also on behalf of all Polish citizens, I want to make a clear declaration to all Ukrainians fighting for freedom: your wives, children and mothers, if they come to our country, they will be given all the care they require," Kamiński said. "Poland will be a safe haven for them, a safe second home."

Kamiński admitted that the situation in Ukraine is "dramatic" and that the wave of refugees is unlikely to decline soon.

"We're expecting an increasing inflow of defenceless people who are fearful of their lives and freedom... to our country," the minister said.

He added that the Ukrainian border services are planning to streamline border crossing procedures for the refugees to shorten miles-long queues at the border.

"We've received the first information that Ukrainian services are planning to apply simplified procedures to women and children who are waiting on the other side so that they can cross into Poland as quickly as possible," Kamiński said.

The minister also declared that Poland is planning further humanitarian actions over a longer-term basis.

"Depending on the developments, we will modify our actions and plans," Kamiński continued. "It is obvious that the situation is going to be very difficult and will last for a long time."

Poland's Border Guard reported on Sunday that all of the crossings at the Polish-Ukrainian border were functioning normally and that, since the beginning of war in Ukraine, almost 200,000 refugees received assistance in Poland.