Vadim Pistrinciuc: Moldova learned important lessons when managing inflow of Ukrainian refugees

The Ukrainian refugees not always ask for temporary protection in the Republic of Moldova for different reasons. Most of these reasons are related to the absence of certainty about their future and to the choices that each Ukrainian citizen is to make for themselves and their family. But those who decide to stay should better apply for temporary protection so as to be protected from particular risks, executive director of the Institute for Strategic Initiatives Vadim Pistrinciuc stated in a public debate hosted by IPN.

“The risks they face are absolutely individual. First of all, if you want to benefit from particular universal services, health services, emergency medical services, insulin, dialysis, the absence of this status prevents access to such services. To benefit from assistance from international, charity organizations, one should have a status in the Republic of Moldova. Evidently, some of the organizations ask for this status, while others do not. It depends a lot on the type of the philanthropic organization. But there is also the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, which regulates the period of time during which the person can stay in the country,” said Vadim Pistrinciuc.

He noted that considering the return home or the trip to another country to benefit from protection in EU member states is a reason why the displaced persons do not ask for temporary protection. “Sometimes, it goes to the reunification of the family and they think about leaving to a country in which the economic possibilities are bigger,” said the executive director of the Institute for Strategic Initiatives.

He also said that the correct informing of the citizens about the particularities of the Ukrainian migrants is an important factor as their situation changes rather often.

“I think this is an absolutely unique situation. Theoretically, we studied the experience with refugees in other states, other regions. There, more homogenous features between families of refugees prevailed indeed. As to the Ukrainian refugees, the situations are very different. For example, there are many persons who insistently want to return to their homeland. After the first year, they started to travel to and from. This is a phenomenon. They go and check the state of their possessions, do some other things and come back. They go elsewhere, come back and then go there again and transit. This way, the temporary protection status can hinder as the person with this status cannot be absent for more than 45 days,” stated Vadim Pistrinciuc.

According to him, the Republic of Moldova learns important lessons from the management of the refugee crisis. The first lesson is that one should always be ready to cope. “Who ever anticipated that the Republic of Moldova will become a country of destination for hundreds of thousands of refugees when earlier we had by 50 to 100 requests a year? Our geography was so that we considered that such phenomena cannot affect us. So, we must be ready for any exceptional situation. The second learned lesson is that if you want to succeed, you need to have society on your side. I believe we succeeded as a country as the people responded concomitantly with the authorities to this challenge, this necessity to offer the refugees basic things. It was a movement to say so. Someone was probably against, but they were a minority. So, it was a matter accepted by the whole society. Thus, the response by a country is much more solid and a lot of problems can be overcome” said Vadim Pistrinciuc.

The debate entitled “Temporary protection for displaced persons from Ukraine: progress, challenges and perspectives” was held by IPN News Agency as part of the initiative “Socially responsible administration of external financing” of the Institute for Strategic Initiatives, in partnership with the Independent Think Tank “Expert-Grup, with support from Soros Foundation Moldova.

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