Simplified recording: Bund open to Russian deserters

Status: 09/23/2022 3:11 p.m

The federal government has shown itself open to accepting Russian conscientious objectors. The Ministry of the Interior emphasized that a security check was taking place in the existing asylum procedure – one had to know who wanted to come to Germany.

The federal government is open to accepting Russians who want to leave the country after partial mobilization. The fact that many Russians did not want to take part in the war against Ukraine is a good sign, said government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit. It is becoming apparent that there is an escape movement to the west. Now you are looking for coordination with EU partners on how to deal with it.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the number of asylum seekers from Russia in Germany has already increased in recent weeks. According to a spokeswoman, figures for the development since the partial mobilization on Wednesday are not yet available.

Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser had already made it clear that people who oppose the Russian regime and are therefore “in great danger” can apply for asylum because of political persecution. The decision-making practice of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has already been adjusted accordingly, she told the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sunday newspaper”.

However, the granting of asylum is a case-by-case decision, which also includes a security check. A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior emphasized this again: Especially with members of the Russian military, one must know who actually wants to come to Germany.

Broad support for recording

After Putin’s announcement, the coalition partners FDP and Greens called on the government to take in Russian deserters – support for this comes from almost all factions.

The parliamentary secretary of the Greens, Irene Mihalic, told the “Rheinische Post”: “Anyone who does not want to take part as a soldier in Putin’s murderous war of aggression against Ukraine, which violates international law and is therefore fleeing Russia, must be granted asylum in Germany.”

SPD faction deputy Dirk Wiese told the newspaper that the stricter penalties that threatened people if they were withdrawn from conscription “I already consider the current legal situation to be sufficient grounds for asylum.” Lower Saxony’s Prime Minister Stephan Weil said the people who were now resisting the convocation were “incredibly brave”. “I really take it for granted to support such people, to give such people refuge,” said the SPD politician on the RTL / ntv program “Frühstart”.

The deputy chairman of the Union faction, Johann Wadephul, told the newspapers of the Funke media group that humanitarian visas must now be interpreted generously and comprehensively. “This must also apply to soldiers who openly oppose the Putin regime.”

Left criticizes asylum as insufficient

Linke leader Martin Schirdewan also called for residence and work permits for Russian regime opponents and deserters in the Funke newspapers. The possibility of an asylum application, to which the federal government refers, is “not an active offer of protection,” he said.

The refugee organization Pro Asyl criticized the political debate as a “sham debate” because the question of access to asylum was not addressed. Managing Director Günther Burkhardt said that as long as the EU countries sealed off their borders and prevented access with pushbacks, Russian deserters would have no chance of entering the country. Burkhardt therefore called for the fleeing Russians to be given access to humanitarian admission and for the corresponding visa applications to be processed quickly.

Entry had recently been made more difficult

The EU had made entry for Russian citizens more difficult in mid-September. Since then, there have been higher hurdles, especially for new tourist visas. The visa fee increased from 35 to 80 euros. In addition, the application takes much longer. Multiple entries have also been made more difficult. Exceptions should apply to Russian journalists and Kremlin critics, among others.

The current Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, also intervened in the debate: “Wrong approach! Sorry. Young Russians who don’t want to go to war must finally overthrow Putin and his racist regime instead of fleeing and going to the West to enjoy Dolce Vita.”

Federal government: “Good sign” that many Russians are refusing military service

Markus Sambale, ARD Berlin, September 23, 2022 2:01 p.m

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