Trzaskowski says true test of aid for Ukrainian refugees is yet to come
The mayor of Warsaw has said that the real test of Polish support for Ukrainian refugees will come this winter as Poles battle rising energy prices and general economic difficulties.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine in February Warsaw has become a major hub for refugees, and at one point welcomed 200,000 Ukrainians in just three days.
Speaking at the Warsaw Security Forum, Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski said the unprecedented scale of support and solidarity with refugees is an example of civil society in action, as well as an activity largely carried out by Polish citizens themselves.
But he also expressed concern that economic difficulties and rising energy prices in Poland may lead to a reduction in the willingness to support refugees as "people may say that they are no longer in a position to help."
The Polish state and society will only now face the true test, he continued, adding that in order to prevent discontent, government and EU support is absolutely crucial.
Trzaskowski also said that the budget for supporting refugees is inadequate, and that the help received from abroad, including the US, is of key importance.
Admitting thousands of Ukrainian children into Polish schools or providing refugees with healthcare poses major challenges for the public service system, he added.