Australia will accept refugees from Ukraine, as Coalition MPs call on their government to do everything possible to assist the hundreds of thousands of people escaping conflict.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country is already expediting visa applications from Ukrainians and will encourage those who have flocked into neighbouring Poland as well as those who want to relocate elsewhere.
He proposed a special intake of refugees on top of Australia’s regular annual humanitarian allocation, as well as giving precedence to skilled migrants and students.
According to the Ukrainian embassy in Canberra, Australia’s Ukrainian community numbers 38,000 people.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, at least 150,000 people have left Ukraine to Poland and other neighbouring nations as Russian soldiers advance on Kyiv.
Another 100,000 people have been displaced within Ukraine.
If the situation worsens, the UN estimates that up to 4 million refugees will be forced to evacuate.
Mr Morrison stated that Australia’s priority right now is to provide urgent assistance to those escaping across the border.