Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir expects that numerous Russian citizens will apply for international protection in Iceland, RÚV reports, in the wake of new orders from Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin that up to 300,000 people could be conscripted into military service, which has already led to Russian men fleeing the country.
Andrei Menshenin, a young Russian man living in Iceland, told reporters for RÚV that amongst young people he knows, no one wants to be sent to the battlefield. He furthermore encouraged the Icelandic government to accept Russian asylum seekers.
Katrín said that while the matter has not been formally discussed within the government, “we and other European countries can expect more applications [for asylum] from [Russia].”
Some 1,560 Ukrainians have sought asylum in Iceland as of this month, under the auspices of Article 44 of the Law on Foreigners, which grants the Minister of Justice the power to grant asylum to people fleeing war zones. This article would not apply Russian asylum seekers, Katrín said, as the circumstances would be completely different. She added, though, that the matter would be discussed.
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