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Netherlands can deport Russians seeking asylum over forced military mobilization

20:36, Thursday, 29 December, 2022
Netherlands can deport Russians seeking asylum over forced military mobilization

Russian citizens who have fled to the Netherlands for fear of being mobilized in their home country no longer have a self-evident right to stay in the Netherlands, State Secretary Eric van der Burg announced on Wednesday. The Cabinet member in charge of asylum policy said the Dutch immigration service (IND) can process asylum applications from Russian people and reject them.

These Russians no longer have to fear being called up for military operations, the Ministry of Justice and Security stated. This is because the "Russian Defense Minister has announced that the mobilization has been completed, and instructed the military units to halt mobilization work as of October 31," the ministry wrote.
     Additionally, decisions on asylum applications submitted by Russians conscripts who refuse to serve have been halted for the upcoming half-year. The same was true for Russian conscripts who deserted the military.

They may remain in the Netherlands for the time being. This moratorium on asylum decisions and deportation for Russian conscripts was extended by six months by the state secretary on Wednesday.
     The ministry said it still needed more reliable information about "to what extent conscripts in Russia were (forcefully) deployed in the war in Ukraine," the ministry wrote. Therefore, "it is not yet possible to carefully decide on the asylum applications of Russian conscripts from 18 to 27 years old."

The moratorium does not apply to professional Russian soldiers who then chose to desert the military. "The available information about their situation is sufficient for the IND to be able to decide on applications for international protection from this target group," the Ministry of Justice and Security said.

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