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August 18, 2022

DefMin Dincu: Romania could receive over 500,000 refugees in case of a conflict in Ukraine

National Defence Minister Vasile Dincu said on Tuesday that Romania could receive over 500,000 refugees, in the eventuality of a conflict in Ukraine.

“There are several estimates, nonetheless we could receive over 500,000 refugees, this is the figure for which we have prepared together with the Interior Ministry and the other institutions coordinating this matter. (…) There are several points. There is a plan in this sense which is prepared in all big cities, there are areas devoted to this in the border proximity,” the Defence Minister said at Parliament.

He showed that Romania didn’t expect major refugee inflows from Ukraine, in the context in which in 2014 most of them went to Poland.

“We don’t expect major flows coming here on this occasion either, but one never knows, depending on the military developments, if it is the case, nevertheless for now we are talking about a hypothetical situation,” the Defence Minister said.

Asked what could be the worst case scenario for Romania, he said: “The moment there would be a generalised armed conflict to the east of our border and there would be other economic, social, electronic warfare effects, which have no boundaries and can extend, therefore everything that would mean an emergency situation, we have performed interservice, interinstitutional simulations. There is a committee working, they meet constantly, on a daily basis, on this topic on preparation level. This happened for the first time when there was some sort of an account of an announced death, so to speak, and then we have been preparing for weeks.”

Vasile Dincu also pointed out that Romania is prepared to extract Romanians from Ukraine, in case of need.

“We are prepared, in case of need, to extract them from the territory,” he said, showing that he was unaware of such requests.

The Minister pointed out that there are prospects for an armed conflict as well as the hope of a de-escalation in the region.

“There are prospects for an armed conflict as well, very many prospects, but it is unsure. Let us hope the diplomats will continue to talk, not the military. (…) The Russian Federation uses diplomacy to influence, to manipulate, too, because at the same time there are statements that forces are being withdrawn and there is almost a withdrawal calendar and there are also military actions, but there is hope as there has been convened, the date is not known yet, but there will shortly take place a NATO-Russia committee meeting, which wasn’t scheduled because it is a result of the discussion of late. From this perspective, diplomats can still talk,” said Dincu, according to Agerpres.

Asked if a possible conflict might also reach Romania, he said that “the population can rest assured.”

“At the moment there is no prognosis in this direction. I believe the population can rest assured. Of course, in case of a conflict in Ukraine, the entire area would be affected. This does not mean there will be war on our territory.”

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