Switzerland – Bern hopes the population will welcome refugees from Ukraine


In an interview with “NZZ am Sonntag”, Karin Keller-Sutter explains that Switzerland is urgently preparing for the influx of large numbers of refugees from Russia.

For Karin Keller-Sutter, the task of preparing for whatever happens is up to Switzerland.


The Federal Council wants to grant protection status to refugees from Ukraine. But for now, Bern does not know the number of refugees from Ukraine planned to be welcomed in Switzerland, Karin Keller-Sutter said in an interview with “NZZ am Sonntag”. During his meeting with his colleagues in the European Union (EU), it was estimated that five to seven million people could leave Ukraine – 1.3 have already done so. First, they have to stay in the eastern countries where the family is – Hungary, Romania and Poland, the federal councilor considers. But depending on the evolution of the war and over time, they may return to other countries. At present, however, the countries of Eastern Europe do not want to distribute Ukrainian refugees in Europe, as proposed by the European Union and the Schengen area.

According to “SonntagsZeitung”, since the outbreak of war in Ukraine, the only one who has “immediately acted and sympathized” with the Federal Council was Minister of Justice Karin Keller-Sutter. He recalled that Switzerland had “generously welcomed refugees” despite the suppression of socialism.

Like the alien purse during infections

According to “SonntagsZeitung”, “If the Federal Councilor makes sure that the victims of the war in Ukraine are not pushed into Switzerland under bureaucratic excuses,” he may be as far-fetched as the leader of the Federal Council. Allows ”.

Bern should be ready anyway

According to the European supply key, tens of thousands of refugees from Ukraine can stay in our country. The head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP) explains that it is up to Switzerland to prepare for whatever happens, without wanting to speculate about the figures. “The Federal Council has decided in principle to use the security position to provide assistance as quickly as possible and unofficially,” he recalled. Coincidental planning with the regions has been expedited to prepare for the arrival of large numbers of Ukrainians. However, for now, the bureaucracy is lagging behind (see box) and the country is not yet ready to provide them with thousands of beds. Saint-Galloise has appealed to the Swiss people for a temporary welcome of refugees. Moreover, thousands of private individuals have already declared themselves for such a reception, according to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) quoted by “SonntagsZeitung”.

According to the “SonntagsZeitung” report of the day, so far only 330 Ukrainians have been able to reach us. Another 200 people have applied for asylum, according to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM). This is very low compared to the 1.3 million people who have already left the war. Still, Switzerland already seems to be overwhelmed by this figure, according to the Sunday newspaper, which follows Ukrainian families who have experienced “overflowing and unnecessary” bureaucracy.

Refugees sent via Switzerland

This is the case of a family of six, including four young children who fled Ukraine a day after the start of the war. When they arrived in Zurich last Wednesday at their mother’s sister’s house – after traveling five days and 1,700 kilometers in Europe – they announced themselves at the Center for Asylum Seekers, where they had to spend seven hours in the waiting room to fill out forms. Later, the family was sent to Boudry (NE) 160 km away for “logistics reasons”. But there, they met other Ukrainian refugees who had to go the opposite way: they were deported to Zurich “for logistical reasons”.

Upon hearing about this, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) promised to improve: “We are now taking continuous steps to adapt our practices to changing circumstances,” SEM told SonntagsZeitung.


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