PRAGUE (Reuters) -The European Union is preparing for “millions” more refugees fleeing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said on Tuesday.
Johansson said it was difficult to estimate precisely how many refugees could stream through EU borders after Russia invaded Ukraine last week, after more than 400,000 had come through so far.
Many of those fleeing have met long waits at crossings into Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania, the EU states bordering Ukraine.
“Unfortunately, we have to prepare for millions of people to come,” Johansson told a news conference in the Slovak capital Bratislava. “At the same time we have huge and urgent humanitarian needs in Ukraine, a lot of internally displaced people.”
She said she hoped the European Council would activate the temporary protection directive on Thursday giving protection to those fleeing, saying that would be the first time it was used in the EU.
The bloc was also looking at the possibility of deploying more people from EU agencies like Frontex to help countries most affected, she said.
(Reporting by Jan Lopatka and Jason Hovet; Editing by Edmund Blair)