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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

The CDU’s concern for refugees from Ukraine is unjustified

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Friedrich Merz describes a scenario that brings back bad memories. Among the refugees from Ukraine there are now “a large number of refugees who do not come from Ukraine at all, but have now reached Germany via this route,” the CDU chairman said on Tuesday.

This happens “according to our ideas and knowledge”, Merz did not name a source. However, she asked the federal Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser (SPD), “to really deal with this problem now”. The minister must ensure that the refugees are registered, as is the case on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen]

Merz suggests that people who could be troublemakers come to Germany. This is reminiscent of the drama of 2015, when the IS terrorist militia used the influx of refugees via the Balkan route to smuggle in assassins, who later took part in the heavy attack in Paris on November 13.

In a series of attacks, IS commandos killed 130 people in the city and injured more than 680. Can this happen again now?

“Russian mafia in Berlin for years”

That would be a terror scenario, says Torsten Akmann (SPD), State Secretary for the Interior in the Berlin Senate. But Akmann emphasizes that in the current situation there is no evidence that members of terrorist groups or saboteurs mix with the flow of refugees from Ukraine.

Experts from various authorities have also said the risk is low that Putin would send saboteurs who would come to Poland and Germany as alleged refugees.

An expert comments sarcastically that the Russian mafia has been in Berlin for years. Given the links between organized crime and intelligence services in Russia, the Putin regime could use this if an attack was planned in Germany.

Interior Minister Faeser emphasized in the Bundestag on Wednesday that “we are now keeping a close eye on who comes to Germany.” The federal police have “strongly intensified” controls at the borders, on trains and at train stations. The state police are also keeping an eye on what is happening.

At the request of the Tagesspiegel, the ministry announced on Thursday that the federal police had “significantly intensified” the persecution at the borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Austria.

So far, there have been “only isolated findings on security-relevant people,” for example those with re-entry bans. These are mostly people who have been deported from Germany.

Visa exemption for 90 days

Faeser also commented on the issue of refugee registration on Wednesday. Visa-free visas apply to Ukrainians with a biometric passport for 90 days. This is the current law and it allows many refugees to travel to other European countries.

“However, we quickly decided to also register these people when they were first admitted and therefore as soon as possible,” Faeser said. Registration takes place no later than “when people need support”.

Of the 187,428 people from Ukraine who have entered Germany so far, about 176,000 are Ukrainian citizens. A total of 153,000 were exempt from a visa because they have a biometric passport.

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