Conscientious objectors: the federal government wants an EU solution

Berlin (dpa) – The federal government wants to reach a common line at European level in the next few weeks for dealing with Russian conscientious objectors.

The fact that many Russian men tried to evade military service in Ukraine after the partial mobilization announced on Wednesday was initially “a good sign,” government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said in Berlin on Friday. Now it’s a matter of finding “a viable solution” together with the other EU countries. In this special situation, just pointing out that anyone who manages to enter the country can apply for asylum is not sufficient.

In each individual case, however, the motives of the alleged conscientious objector must always be checked before admission, Hebestreit emphasized. Because it must be ensured that the person who is admitted is not someone who is moving to Europe on behalf of the Russian state power.

So far no plans for humanitarian visas

So far, there are no plans for a special reception program or so-called humanitarian visas for Russian conscientious objectors, either in Germany or at EU level. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Germany has so far taken in 438 people from Russia through a program designed to offer protection to dissidents, journalists and scientists who are particularly at risk.

The spokesman for the ministry, Maximilian Kall, said that the decision-making practice of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees for asylum seekers from Russia had already been changed in April in such a way that “conscientious objection to military service is usually a reason for protection”.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:220923-99-866171/5

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