Since the start of the war in Ukraine, the European Union Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) has supported the Member States in managing the border situation due to the high number of refugees fleeing Ukraine. Frontex had also deployed permanent troops on the EU-Ukraine border.
In a statement issued on May 4, Frontex announced that the agency was on alert 24/7, monitoring the situation at the EU external borders, thus supporting the EU member states with the latest information on immigration flows and the situation at border crossings, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Data show that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, around 5,644,775 Ukrainian refugees have entered the EU, up until May 3.
“With the use of technology, including satellites, the agency also helped the Member States understand and predict the situation on the ground. Frontex also organised humanitarian flights to help non-Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war in Ukraine reach their home countries safely. Frontex officers also distributed humanitarian aid alongside their colleagues from the Member States,” the statement reads.
According to Frontex, 520 troop officers are currently working along the eastern border from Finland to Romania, which also includes 362 officers working on the EU-Ukraine border.
Following an agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova in March, Frontex deployed 73 officers to assist the Moldovan authorities as the country faces a large influx of refugees from Ukraine.
Similarly to Moldova, Romania is also a country that has sought help from Frontex in managing the border situation due to the large number of people fleeing the war. Therefore on March 2, Frontex announced that over 150 officers had been sent to the Romanian border with 45 patrol cars and other equipment.
“Frontex helps non-Ukrainian and non-EU citizens fleeing the war in Ukraine reach their home countries. Frontex can charter aircraft or buy tickets for commercial flights to allow them to return home,” the statement pointed out.
At the same time, Frontex has supported the organisation of 16 humanitarian return flights, thus helping 722 non-EU citizens fleeing the war in Ukraine. Meanwhile, 24 people returned via flights, including 698 people on four charter flights.
Frontex also stated that humanitarian return flights were carried out from Poland to Armenia, followed by Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in cooperation with the respective embassies.
Moreover, Frontex constantly monitors the external borders of the European Union and thus provides updates and alerts to EU member states and Schengen associated countries, the European Commission and other agencies.
>> Timeline of Ukrainian Refugees Reaching EU Countries Amid Russian Invasion